A 5-year-old boy is in critical condition after his mother jumped with him on Monday from the rim of Niagara Gorge in Niagara Falls State Park.
The two fell nearly 90 feet, almost to the bottom of the gorge, and landed near the entrance to the Cave of the Winds, an attraction close to the location of a now-closed-off natural cave behind Bridal Veil Falls.. The mother died from the fall.
According to the Buffalo News, park police and firefighters trudged over 100 yards of icy terrain to reach the pair. Just after 2 p.m., they had the boy on a stretcher and brought him up via the Cave of the Winds elevator to a Mercy Flight helicopter waiting at the top. The chopper took him to John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, where he underwent surgery.
State Parks Police Capt. Chris Rola said the mother and her son had been at the park with her husband. He said investigators don’t yet know why she jumped over the edge.
“The investigation is ongoing, but we don’t believe it is an accident,” he said.
Rola said the child suffered a head injury. The New York State Police Aviation Unit recovered the woman’s body and took it to the coroner’s office.
Officials have not named the family involved but said they were not from the immediate Buffalo-Niagara area. Park police said that Niagara County Crisis Services is assisting the family.
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[Featured image: View of Bridal Veil Falls from Cave of the Winds/Shutterstock]