March 11, 2010

Rescue Crews Recover Body of William Sinclair ’12 From Fall Creek Gorge

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Rescue workers from the Ithaca Fire Department recovered the body of William Sinclair ’12, a student in the College of Engineering, from Fall Creek Gorge near the Thurston Avenue Bridge around midday Thursday, according to the University.

In an e-mail message to the Cornell community on Thursday night, President David Skorton stated that he would not be able to comment further on the incident until the Ithaca Police Department completed their investigation.

Police and rescue crews closed the Thurston Avenue Bridge shortly after 11 a.m. when they arrived on the scene. They were responding to a 911 call from a utility crew that first discovered the body while doing work on the underside of the bridge.

“A rescue crew consisting of four Ithaca firefighters entered the gorge from the north side of the creek using a rope system down the steep enbankment,” Ithaca Police Lt. Vincent P. Monticello said in a statement.  “At 12:44 p.m., the body was secured and removed from the gorge by the four-person IFD crew and several additional firefighters and rescue personnel [who] were topside.”

The bridge was reopened to vehicular and pedestrian traffic at around 1 p.m.

Cornell Public Information Officer Joe Schwartz said that the Ithaca Police Department would lead the investigation into what happened in collaboration with the Cornell University Police Department.

The incident comes less than a month after Bradley Ginsburg ’13 was found by police in the Fall Creek Gorge on Feb. 17.

“I do want to acknowledge the toll we all may be experiencing from repeated losses already this year,” Skorton said in his message. “I sincerely hope that you will join me in reaching out to your classmates, roommates, colleagues and friends to cherish the memories you have of those who have departed us, and to renew your commitment to each other.”

Skorton also urged members of the community to utilize the counseling and mental health services offered by Gannett Health Services.

Continue to check for updates on this breaking story.

Original Author: Sun Staff