A woman is dead and her 5-year-old son is in critical condition after the two apparently crossed the safety rail along the Niagara Gorge and jumped over the edge.
On Monday at 12:30 p.m., the New York State Park Police received numerous calls reporting that a young girl and her son had fallen 90 feet to the icy ground below after jumping over the gorge. Police and the Niagara Falls Fire Department had to travel more than 300 feet of treacherous icy terrain in order to save both victims, according to a press release.
Unfortunately, the first responders were unable to save the woman, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. The boy, however, was still alive, despite a serious head injury. Rescue teams whisked him up the elevator at the Cave of the Winds, and a medevac flight then transported the boy to Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo around 2 p.m. As of Tuesday afternoon, he had undergone surgery and was said to be in critical condition.
Police Captain Chris Rola stated, “Our rescuers and Niagara Falls Fire Department were able to reach both of the victims pretty quickly.” Chris Rola said, “We were going make every effort to save that child that is alive at this time.”
Police have only shared a few details as the investigation continues. The mother and her son arrived at the park together with the husband of the woman. He is cooperating with investigators. According to the press release, the family is not “from the immediate area”. Their names were not released.
“We don’t believe it was an accident,” Rola stated.
He said that Niagara Falls was a difficult place to rescue people. “We have a swift water rescue team and we have high-angle rope rescue men who train every day”.
Niagara Gorge is a canyon formed by the Niagara River. It divides the U.S.A. from Canada. The gorge starts at Niagara Falls and continues north for seven more miles. The Niagara Falls State Park can be found on Goat Island near the southern end of the canyon. The Cave of the Winds observation area can be found near the northeastern corner of the island.