In 2010 alone, around 40 million people went camping. For Western New Yorkers, Letchworth State Park has been a favorite destination, but this week one such excursion in the park ended fatally when a group of people fell into the river at the Lower Falls.
The body of one of two missing boys was found on Sunday. The victims, a six-year-old and nine-year-old, slipped into the gorge after one of the members of their party fell in, creating a domino effect and causing a total of seven people to enter the water. At the time of the incident, the group was in a restricted zone.
“The flow was not heavy, but the fall is enough to create a hydraulic effect,” which pulled them down and over the falls, said State Park Police Major David Page.
Five members of the party, including two men and three girls, were rescued and transported to Strong Memorial Hospital, none of them with serious injuries.
State Police released the names of the two missing boys on Monday. Brothers from Brockport, six-year-old Preston Giangregorio was found dead on Sunday afternoon, and his brother, Dylan Giangregorio, is still missing.
Multiple agencies have been involved in the rescue efforts, including the Park Police, State Police and their Special Operations Response Team,aviation and dive team, Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputies, Livingston County EMS, and many others.
The Lower Falls area of the park has been the site of several accidents over the last few years. In October 2014, a Penfield teen died after leaving a trail and falling in the gorge, and a North Tonawanda man died in February of that year after falling into the gorge near the Lower Falls.
The areas around and near the Lower Falls is closed at this time as searches continue for Dylan Giangregorio.
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