May 30, 2011

Graduate Dies in Fall Creek Gorge Accident

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Kendrick Castro ’11 died in a swimming accident in the Fall Creek Gorge Monday night.

Castro was wading upstream with friends in the area of the Stewart Avenue bridge when he slipped and was swept downstream, according to a press release from the University. Castro was then pulled from the creek by passers-by, who administered CPR but were unable to save him, the press release stated.

Emergency responders were called at about 7 p.m. to the area, according to a statement from the Ithaca Fire Department.

Recovering the student was a “difficult and dangerous operation,” according to the fire department. Firefighters lowered a 35-foot ladder as well as a stokes basket, backboard and ropes to remove the victim from the gorge.

Castro, who lived in Reston, Va., majored in Information Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. He received his Bachelor’s degree on Sunday.

The fire department cautioned against swimming in the gorges, which is illegal and has led to student deaths in the past. It said the activity is “extremely dangerous,” particularly due to heavy rains over the last two months.

Also on Monday, a mother and daughter wading in the Six Mile Creek gorge were imperiled by a swift current. The daughter was saved by Ithaca police, who threw a ring buoy to the young girl, and the mother was saved by Ithaca firefighters, according to a statement from the fire department. Both were later evaluated and released by Bangs Ambulance personnel.

Ithaca police are investigating the circumstances of Castro’s death and ask anyone with information to contact the Investigations Unit at 272-9973.

Original Author: Jeff Stein