Man Survives After Falling Over Waterfall in LeRoy
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A Batavia man survived after tumbling over Buttermilk Falls in LeRoy while handing a case of beer to a friend Wednesday night, according to the Genesee County Sheriff's Department. Deputies say a narrow ledge caught him about halfway into a 75 foot drop.
Genesee County Sheriff's deputies say seven young adults were trespassing on private property when Brandon Smart, 34, lost his balance and fell 40 feet.
About 60 rescuers responded, including EMS, Mercy Flight, and the Genesee County Fire Department.
Smart's friend, Michael Hayes, 24, of Rochester, climbed down to the ledge after the fall. He was not injured but also had to be rescued from the cliff to safety.
Emergency Services Director Tim Yaeger said responders worked to keep themselves safe as well during the potentially dangerous rescue.
"Now that's something to think about, that fact that kids may be sightseeing or walking these gorges in river or creek and fall-sides, but if something were to happen they're putting a lot of individuals, there was probably 60 rescuers out here this evening that are all assisting, and we don't want to see anyone else get hurt," said Yaeger.
Yaeger says Smart became uncooperative when rescuers tried to put him into a harness. Sergeant Steven Mullen spent 15 minutes talking with Smart before he agreed to allow his own rescue.
Mullen says Smart suffered head injuries, a gash on the leg, and neck pain.
Responders decided to transport Smart in a ground ambulance to Strong Hospital instead of airlifting him, saying it would be easier to control him in an ambulance if he became violent.
The LeRoy Fire Chief says there have been three similar rescues in the past 12 years, two of which were fatal.
All those involved in the Buttermilk Falls incident were issued trespassing tickets and are scheduled to appear in LeRoy Town Court next month. Those ticketed include Michael Hayes, 24, Tatijana Kacurovski, 19, Sara Gianni, 20, Donald Hayes, 27, James Sharpstene, 25, Nathaniel Clark, 20, and Melany Schlicker, 18. Charges against Smart are pending.