16-Year-Old Girl Dies After Falling Off 'Steep Ledge' at New York's Zoar Valley

The nature preserve is known for its "hazards associated with rocks, steep slopes, cliffs and swift water"

Zoar Valley
Zoar Valley. Photo: Getty Images

A teenage girl died after falling from a "steep ledge" over the weekend.

On Saturday, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office received multiple 911 calls at about 5:40 p.m. local time about a "female who had fallen off a steep ledge" at the nature preserve Zoar Valley in Otto, New York, according to a press release.

Authorities confirmed that a 16-year-old girl, who has not been identified, died after sustaining fatal injuries from the fall. An investigation is ongoing.

Along with deputies from the sheriff's office and officers from New York State Police, emergency crews from the Gowanda Fire Department, Gowanda EMS, Erie County Sheriff's Office Air One, Mercy Flight, NYS Forest Rangers, NYS Environmental Police and Eden Fire Rope Rescue also helped at the scene.

According to The Buffalo News, the teenager is the 10th person known to have died hiking or rafting at Zoar Valley since 2004.

The 3,014-acre nature preserve is "known for the spectacular scenery created by its deep gorge, sheer cliffs, flowing waterfalls, and dense forests," according to an official webpage for Zoar Valley by the New York State government's Department of Environmental Preservation.

The official website urges visitors to "stay on marked trails" while hiking through the forests, adding that Zoar Valley "contains hazards associated with rocks, steep slopes, cliffs and swift water."

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