A Buffalo couple was killed - and their young son critically injured - after an apparent fall from a cliff at a western NY hiking trail, according to local reports.
At the base of the gorge, on a ledge near the water, lay a young married couple, William and Amanda Green, and their 4-year-old son Alexander.
As rescuers worked to evacuate the couple and Alexander, they found footprints and a pair of tennis shoes too big to fit the 4-year-old's feet. Our family would like to thank the first responders including Erie County Sheriff's Office, Mercy Flight, as well as the dedicated staff at Women and Children's Hospital for their courageous and caring efforts.
The incident led to the parent's four year old son being critically injured with the couple's eldest son, a seven year old boy wandering the area with a broken ankle looking for help, Sunday afternoon.
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A summer outing had turned tragic, authorities were able to determine, when at least three members of the Green family tumbled 200 feet down one of Zoar Valley's steepest cliffs. Police continue to investigate.
Hikers came upon the adults' bodies, Howard said. "They flagged down a third hiker that had a cell phone and they made the call".
The Cattaraugus Creek runs through the Erie County side of Zoar Valley in Gowanda, N.Y. "I've worked 40 years in Zoar Valley, and the rescue people know it's risky", Gowanda Fire Chief Nick Crassi, who helped with the search-and-rescue efforts, told the paper.
Alexander was listed in guarded condition Monday at a Buffalo hospital where he was being treated for internal injuries, fractures and a head injury. When they contacted the Green's extended family, authorities learned 7-year-old Jacob had been along for the trip. It was still unclear Monday if the older boy fell along with his parents and brother.
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"Amanda Green was a beloved employee at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York".
The spokesman said Jacob is in good condition with a broken right arm and ankle. "We are assisting the family through this hard time and are distributing the following statement on their behalf".
"It's sheer. It's drops straight down", Zylka said of the area where the family was found. The deaths include a 49-year-old man who died after falling almost 200 feet from a cliff; a 48-year-old man who landed in the creek after falling off a cliff while hiking; and a 19-year-old woman who died when she fell from the top of a waterfall.
Since 2005, the gorge has been the scene of several deaths and rescue operations after hikers got hurt or lost.
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The two have been identified as Amanda and William Green of Buffalo.