October 17, 2001

Firefighters Rescue Student From Gorge

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A Cornell University student was found injured in the Cascadilla gorge early yesterday morning and airlifted to a Sayre, Penn., hospital, the Ithaca Fire Department reported.

The student, whose name and class year were not released because of confidentiality laws, did not sustain life-threatening injuries, said Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell News Service.

Firefighters responded to the College Avenue bridge after receiving a cell phone call at approximately 2:35 a.m. yesterday. The fire department did not know how the cell phone caller — whose identity was not released — discovered the injured student.

The student was pulled out of the south side of the Cascadilla gorge, on the east side of Oak Street.

He was “possibly walking” down the trail before the accident, according to Assistant Fire Chief Guy Van Benschoten. No other information was available about how the student sustained injuries as of late yesterday afternoon.

The Ithaca Police Department as well as the Cornell Police Department are investigating the incident.

Neither department had issued a statement as of yesterday afternoon. Both declined to comment to The Sun.

Over the next couple of days, “They’ll go back and question the person,” Grace-Kobas said. “That’s routine.”

Following the rescue, the student was transported by Bangs Ambulance to Hoy Baseball Field before being airlifted by “Guthrie 1” helicopter to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, according to a fire department press release.

“We suspect multiple broken bones, but we’re not doctors,” Van Benschoten said.

The University did not close any of the trails leading into the gorge following the incident, “but of course we urge people always to be careful,” Grace-Kobas said.

Archived article by Beth Herskovits