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The Times
  • Schenectady man dies after jumping into Canajoharie Falls

  • A Schenectady man died Monday afternoon after jumping into Canajoharie Falls.

    Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies said 25-year-old Israel Vazquez, of 1065 Park Ave., was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Susan Quackenbush.

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  • A Schenectady man died Monday afternoon after jumping into Canajoharie Falls.
    Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies said 25-year-old Israel Vazquez, of 1065 Park Ave., was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Susan Quackenbush.
    An autopsy will be performed at St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam later this week.
    Deputies said the county’s 911 dispatch center received a call at about 2:59 p.m. Monday saying an individual had jumped into the water at the bottom of the falls and had not resurfaced.
    Emergency responders from the Canajoharie, Fort Plain, Rural Grove and Ames volunteer fire departments responded to the scene, as well as Mid-County Ambulance, Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance, state police, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Canajoharie police and the St. Johnsville Volunteer Fire Department Dive and Rescue Team.
    Undersheriff Jeffery T. Smith said the Canajoharie Fire Department’s preset emergency plan was carried out and Vazquez was lifted by a rescue basket over a hill and into Canajoharie Falls Cemetery.
    He added it was difficult for responders as the bank was steep and the footing was poor.
    Also Monday, Canajoharie police charged three Amsterdam residents with trespassing at the falls. Daniel Rodriguez, 22, of 26 High St.; Luis M. Mandonado, 22, of 28 High St.; and Damans Rodriguez, 43, of 26 High St., were issued appearance tickets to appear in Canajoharie Village Court on June 25.
    Smith said the investigation is continuing and more arrests are pending, as the falls have been clearly posted by Canajoharie village officials as a no trespassing area. “The village has done a great job posting the area with no trespassing signs and all violators will be prosecuted,” he added.
    Canajoharie Falls has claimed four lives since 2000, including 16-year-old Alisia Biamonte, of Little Falls, in 2004. Biamonte died after jumping into the falls. In 2003, Jesse Nabinger, 18, of Fonda, was killed after a jump. In 2001, Alexander Lee, 19, of Chester, was killed after slipping and falling from the edge of the falls, striking rock ledges before falling into the water.
    On May 16, days before Wintergreen Park opened for the season on Memorial Day, a Hamilton College student and her six companions were reportedly rescued from Canajoharie Creek gorge.
    All involved, with the exception of the female student who sustained head and arm injuries, were arraigned in Canajoharie Village Court, pleaded guilty to trespass and paid $250 fines, according to reports. The injured Hamilton College student, according to reports, was issued an appearance ticket.
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