16-year-old dies after fall off ledge in Zoar Valley

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TOWN OF OTTO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A teenage girl is dead after a long fall off a steep ledge in Zoar Valley.

Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Deputies say they took several 911 calls reporting the fall.
Deputies say the teenager fell between 5 and 6 p.m. Saturday evening and died from her injuries.

We’re still working to learn who she was. Meanwhile, there were plenty of hikers out there Sunday despite the tragedy, and most of the folks we talked to don’t feel Zoar Valley is inherently unsafe. Rather, they feel visitors need to take the area seriously.

“There’s accidents here every year. People hiking down, they got flip flops on. They’re not prepared to do the hike. They come from the city, and they come down here to see the beauty of the gorge. You gotta have good hiking shoes on and be prepared to hike,” one hiker said.


The notoriously challenging hiking area claimed the life of a 20-year-old man in 2018 and in 2017, a mother and father died while hiking with their young sons, who both survived, but were orphaned in the incident.

First responders have often rescued hikers who become lost or injured.

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