cliff jumping accidents in high falls...

cliff jumping accidents in high falls n.y.

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sherri baum

Holtsville, NY

#1 May 18, 2009
I am the mother of a 19 yr old son who was seriously injured cliff jumping on june 21st.2008.. I am trying to speak with anyone who knows anyone who was also hurt there or to anyone who has ever witnessed an accident there..My son was hospitalized for over 3 months with severly broken legs, had several operations and the last resulted in my son losing a leg.I hope there is someone out there who has some perspective on this
NP Resident

Sterling, VA

#2 May 30, 2009
There was a boy about 10 years ago who was also seriously injured there. It is a popular place for teenagers to swim/jump. Should be monitored more closely by local police.
sherri baum

Holtsville, NY

#3 Jun 5, 2009
NP Resident wrote:
There was a boy about 10 years ago who was also seriously injured there. It is a popular place for teenagers to swim/jump. Should be monitored more closely by local police.
do you know who he is and the extent of his injuries? thank you for responding you can e-mail me at [email protected]
Alumnus1

Nutley, NJ

#4 Jun 11, 2009
I used to jump at that location every spring. Although I have never seen a jumping accident there, I can share the following

There are two cliffs on top of each other at the down-river spot where the old bridge used to be. The lower cliff is about 18 feet high. The higher cliff is 15 feet or so higher, and recessed away from the river by 8-10 feet.

The higher cliff is the more dangerous one, as the jumper has to clear the outcropping lower cliff to reach the water safely.

I would only jump the lower cliff; The higher cliff always gave me the heebie jeebies.

Police activity is not and will never be a deterrent, and I would be sad to see this beautiful location become a no-go. However, I feel like there should be a warning sign listing past accidents posted on the higher cliff.

I am very sorry to hear about what happened to your son.
sherri baum

Whitestone, NY

#5 Jun 11, 2009
Alumnus1 wrote:
I used to jump at that location every spring. Although I have never seen a jumping accident there, I can share the following
There are two cliffs on top of each other at the down-river spot where the old bridge used to be. The lower cliff is about 18 feet high. The higher cliff is 15 feet or so higher, and recessed away from the river by 8-10 feet.
The higher cliff is the more dangerous one, as the jumper has to clear the outcropping lower cliff to reach the water safely.
I would only jump the lower cliff; The higher cliff always gave me the heebie jeebies.
Police activity is not and will never be a deterrent, and I would be sad to see this beautiful location become a no-go. However, I feel like there should be a warning sign listing past accidents posted on the higher cliff.
I am very sorry to hear about what happened to your son.
thank you for your concern and response. Iam happy to here that you never jumped from the higher cliff. I am afraid that like you said the police and all the accidents are not more of a deterrent for people especially kids in the area. The upper cliff is a man made structure that I would personally like to see destroyed because I feel it is a real danger. The area itself is quite beautiful,But after hearing of deaths and lots of broken bones of all sorts,I personally cant see much beauty in such personal tragedy..Postings of such accidents would be a great idea, But it seems to be something the property owners don't really seem to care about.I am as my son is greiving such great loss right now that it's really hard for us to think that the weather is warmer and teenagers just wanting to have fun on a hot sunny day and not really thinking about the danger that could befall them is still lurking there at the cliffs, every year there is a tragedy last year it was my person this year I pray it wont be anyone else's person
Kevin Caputo

New Windsor, NY

#6 Jul 10, 2009
I love that cliff. especially the high one sorry to hear about your son.
sherri baum

Holtsville, NY

#7 Jul 17, 2009
Kevin Caputo wrote:
I love that cliff. especially the high one sorry to hear about your son.
I dont know how old you are But,my son is 19 and when your young you have a tendancy to not really think to much about the whole picture when it comes to being spontanious and adventurious..He just jumped and fell and will never be the same because of not looking at the whole picture..I as a mother of a disabled son who I took really good care of for 19 years would like to prevent other people from feeling the pain and agony that my son has had to endure, and the brokeness I feel I will feel in my heart forever..Please be careful because you might not just hurt yourself, you will forever scar everybody who loves you if you should fall..
Skorch

Newport Beach, CA

#8 Feb 25, 2010
If you're 19 year old son didn't think "too much" I would say that is your fault Mom. I've been cliff jumping for years and only idiots, drunks and daredevils get hurt and your son isn't a daredevil. How do i know? Heights under 40 feet are easy to jump if you can think or know what you are doing.

Would you want to close a highway if your stupid son rear-ended another car...what if he wasn't thinking? Does that make it the other driver's fault?

Leave other people alone and wallow in your misery at creating a moron by yourself.

http://12feetunder.com/
sherri baum

Northport, NY

#9 Feb 26, 2010
Well, Skorch first of all my son is not an idiot, a drunk or a daredevil and as far as being stupid he is far from that. He was a normal kid trying to get cool on a hot summer day in a place he had never been before.. I think maybe you could possibly be some of the above, maybe? I am not saying that maybe he wasn't thinking about the outcome. There is no comparison what so ever to what happened at high falls and to rear ending someone on a highway. The simple fact is that people are hurting and even killing themselves in this spot and I personally think it will continue until someone does something about it and being a person who cares about people I care about this problem in my community.. And as far as placing blame and saying it's my fault that my son didn't think " too much" I raised a son for 19 years who was healthy and respectful and always cares for what other people might be feeling or thinking..
and skorch from the sound of you maybe you could use to learn some of those charateristics from your mother..My son was a great man before his accident and he is even more of a great person now,
minus a leg. I hope all your knowledge about cliff jumping keeps you safe and intact in mind and body because as a person being on this earth for 47 years I think it' crazy to jump off a cliff, to me and what I have lived thru it seems like russian roulette..
Soupchef

Chelmsford, MA

#10 Mar 3, 2010
Depends, I've done it in NY (Neat Hunter mountain, in Saugerties, and in Maine, Jamaica, and other locations. It can be safe, but you as the diver take the responsibility to make the right decision for you. Everyone make a poor judgment call once in a while. We learn from them.
I am sorry your son is hurt.
sherri baum

South Hackensack, NJ

#11 Mar 4, 2010
Thank you!! The person who wrote above you, seemed a very callous person and my response was maybe a little mean..I am sure that there are places in the world where it is safe to cliff jump..But this place in High Falls isn't and thru the years alot of people have really hurt themselves badly by jumping there, people have died, particularly young boys..To me that is a real problem..On the up side my son is alive and we are mending.But I feel really sorry for the mother of the son who didn't make it who died there a couple of years ago..I can say that my son knows and says that he made a poor judgement that day, He said that he learned that one stupid mistake can change your whole life and that he often wishes that he had really taken the time to think about it, other people had jumped before him so he assumed that it was safe, poor judgement I can accept..But when a person like skorch above makes comments about being a bad mother or calling someone a moron that really irks me..I am not belly aching at all about or experience, we have made it thru. I am just a person who feels concern about possibly the next person..My son suffered tremendously for months on end with real serious pain in the hospital and the final result was a right leg amputation and a left leg that will never regain full range of motion.. When he learned to walk again and while he was suffering he never complained and as soon as he was released after 5 months of being in the hospital and rehab he left all pain medication behind, all i am saying is it was alot for a 19 year old boy to deal with and he dealt well. Always accepting the responsibility for what he did to himself and to us, who felt we raised a really healthy person both in mind and body.. So, thank you for responding and let's hope that everyone stays well and healthy and really skorch you need to learn how to be a real person..
Ali-cat

Montgomery, AL

#12 Mar 4, 2010
I love that spot. I grew up in Rosendale, but now my dad owns property in High Falls. I remember when I was younger there being a lot of controversy over the cliffs, and whether people were allowed to go there/jump or not. I can appreciate you're upset about your son, and I'm sorry he was hurt. Still, it's every individual's decision to jump. I personally chose to never jump from the top cliff - it made me nervous and I opted out. However, I did repeatedly jump from the lower cliff. The spot is a great place for locals to relax and blow off steam. It just makes me nervous whenever someone makes a poor decision and gets hurt there--there is always a backlash and questions on whether or not it should be allowed. If it was closed off, it would certainly be a huge loss to the area.
sherri baum

Woburn, MA

#13 Mar 5, 2010
I am glad you used good judgement as a young person going to High Falls..I can remember one time when I was alot younger going there with a friend in the fall and it was certainly a beautiful place to be at that moment..But, the fact is that when I returned there after my son's accident to see the place it was just littered with beer cans around the jumping area and I heard thru people that it is a place now to go and party after dark for teenagers..Teenagers in general have a whole side of the brain that is under developed at this age and the fact is that they don't always think correctly and can make poor judgements for themselves.. I really don't want to rain on anybody's parade, Maybe if there was some real supervision things would be o.k., Like at Minnewaska state park the rangers are paying attention..The property at High Falls is supposed to be private property, To me on the hot summer day that I went there to see what my son had befell, It looked like a playground there were people all over the place and to my horror I watched a young college freshman and a couple of freinds jumping off the upper cliff. The one boy was pretty confident about it But, his friend said to me that it was the scariest thing ne ever had done and never intended to do it again.. I really don't know what to say anymore because I know that I have no control over what another person thinks or does, But I do know that things really need to be prevented in this spot, Because it has killed people.
Joe

Pleasant Valley, NY

#14 Mar 20, 2010
Although I didn't care for the reply from Skorch, I have to agree to a small degree with some of it. I am a Rosendale resident. I have jumped off the canal/cliff in High Falls many times. Yes, jumping from the top is quite the thrill and an equal risk. Thatís the point isnít it? The last time I was there it was clearly posted. This was 10 years ago. People who jump off the cliffs know for a fact that they are not "allowed" to be there. I am sorry for your sonís injuries. The fact remains he made the choice to trespass & jump.

Knocking down the canal bridge will not "fix" anything. Personally I am sick of my freedoms being taken away from me one at a time. I'm sure you are upset about your son but I don't see why everybody should pay for his mistake. I know the "new" American way is to blame someone else for our mistakes, but that doesn't make it right.
sherri baum

Brooklyn, NY

#15 Mar 21, 2010
Thank you for your reply. I agree with some of your statements..I do think that knocking down the canal bridge will fix alot, quite plain and simply it will keep people from getting hurt. When I went to the site shortly after the accident their were no postings in the areas where most of the young people go in and out to the jump site.I am an american thru and thru and I blame no one as my son doesn't either for any mistakes as I would never want to try to take anyone's joys or freedoms from them. I just think that it must be a really nice place for the people who make that jump, probably quite a feeling of accomplishment, really exhilerating to hit the water on a hot summer day. But, for the people who have fallen there it's quite another story and there has been alot of those stories. I know that personally as a young adult I did things that were really risky, hitchiking, drugs among other behaviors and when I think of them now in my adult head I quite simply shudder in amazement that I am still alive today, I was really lucky. My thought is everybody is free to do whatever they want here in america, We are free to be you and me and we all make choices good and bad choices.We are free to jump off cliffs, we can kill people, choose to do good things with our lives or choose to do bad things. My son has nothing to do with my feelings about High Falls I am sure that he doesn't even know I am doing this right now, this is my choice and these are my feelings. And my feelings are is that there is no supervision at a place where young people tresspass and either are lucky enough to have a good time or fall and mame themselves for life, if they are lucky enough to not kill themselves. If it were my choice I would prevent tradgedy, It's just not worth it.Thank you for your response we all have our feelings and really when it all comes down to it we are a community that really cares even if we don't always agree about things, I am always grateful an never see a need for hostility, like skorch. There is always a civilised way to communicate feelings to eachother.
Joe_NY

Kingston, NY

#16 Mar 25, 2010
"I do think that knocking down the canal bridge will fix a lot, quite plain and simply it will keep people from getting hurt."

The same logic would have us banning autos because 100ís of people are killed each year. Air planes, trains, tall buildings, the list goes on. This was Skorchís point. You can find danger in just about anything if you look close enough.

"And my feelings are is that there is no supervision at a place where young people tresspass and either are lucky enough to have a good time or fall and mame themselvesĒ for life, if they are lucky enough to not kill themselves."

Supervision? When you were young would it have been at all possible to have a good time with an authority figure watching? That is watching you break the law, trespassing, smoking pot, drinking beer, or making out in the back seat???

"If it were my choice I would prevent tragedy,"

I feel the same way. Unfortunately in most cases the choice will not be ours. We choose the path we follow and even then there are no guarantees.
shan

Stouffville, Canada

#17 Jul 11, 2010
Skorch...your an idiot! karma or after life lessons will teach u for speaking to this greiving mother in such a hateful and disrespectful way! And if your gonna compare cliff diving to driving a car..maybe people shouod have to get lessons...tests..exams (a licience) to cliff jump.
[email protected]%#$* idiot!
dwm

Hackensack, NJ

#18 Jul 22, 2010
Sherri, I am sorry for you and your son's loss. I can't imagine such a tragedy. However, I find it a little impractical and over zealous to try and rule out all the dangers in life just because a small percentage are injured. When I was a teen, I jumped from the cliffs many times and was never injured; as well as many of my friends. Therefore the cliffs aren't the problem. If they were then everyone who jumped would get injured. I was always very athletic, involved in many sports and knew my physical abilities as well as limits. Your son made either a bad judgement on his mental or physical abilities to jump. It is unfortunate and nothing more than that.
Schelle

Pleasanton, CA

#19 Jul 28, 2010
Hi Sherri - I'm a mom of a 17 yr old athletic boy who seems to think the only way to be injured cliff jumping is if you don't know how to do it right. I keep trying to remind him, that even accidents happen to experienced people (that's why they aren't called "on-purposes").
So far he has been fortunate to not have any injuries, but his last jumps have been in a CA lake from about 60 feet. The risks involved worry me, and the consequences from one "bad jump" can be lethal.
I've been trying to find similar boys with stories explaining the negative consequences and wish to have changed the past. Maybe your son could share his story with my oldest son (and his three little brothers)?
Please let me know, and I pray for the best for your family!
rocco

Schenectady, NY

#20 Aug 11, 2010
Skorch wrote:
If you're 19 year old son didn't think "too much" I would say that is your fault Mom. I've been cliff jumping for years and only idiots, drunks and daredevils get hurt and your son isn't a daredevil. How do i know? Heights under 40 feet are easy to jump if you can think or know what you are doing.
Would you want to close a highway if your stupid son rear-ended another car...what if he wasn't thinking? Does that make it the other driver's fault?
Leave other people alone and wallow in your misery at creating a moron by yourself.
http://12feetunder.com/
you are a sorry excuse for a human; go bully someone else on your PC, COWARD!

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