Teen slips, falls down Hamilton Falls in Jamaica

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Photo Gallery | Fall leads to emergency response at Jamaica State Park

JAMAICA, VT — A 17-year-old man from Irvington, N.Y., was revived after about 15 minutes of CPR after he fell about 70 feet at the Hamilton Falls swimming hole in Jamaica State Park.

Around noon on Thursday, Mutual Aid sent out an alert that a young man had gone over the falls and was unresponsive. People on the scene performed CPR for several minutes before Corporal Mike Sorensen of the Vermont State Police arrived and performed additional CPR until the young man began to breathe again on his own.

"He was at the top and he slipped and lost his shoe and tried to get his footing back but then he slid down the waterfall down to the middle section, and there was this big gap, and he tried to clear it but he didn't quite and then he hit his ankle and then he hit his head and then he rolled and then he hit the water," said a young man who saw the accident.

According to a State Police trooper, the young man went over a 70-foot jagged rock drop, but not into deep water.

Jamaica Fire Chief Dana West said the young man was climbing a ledge on the left side of the falls trying to reach the first pool, but slid down into a chute from the first pool and down into the middle pool where he hit several rocks. West said bystanders moved the individual to a spot of land where they were performing CPR before emergency responders arrived.

When rescue arrived, ropes and backboards were used to get him down to the bottom set of falls. It was about 90 minutes until the young man was removed from the scene.

"It was an involved rescue. The location is very difficult, the rocks are very jagged and slippery and it's very, very steep," said Vermont State Police Corporal Paul Dean.

The young man was then transported via an ATV to a helicopter before being airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to be treated for unknown injuries. The individuals's current condition is unknown.

The victim's mother was on scene and publicly thanked all who worked to save her son's life.

According to Joel Beckwith, Assistant Chief of Jamaica Fire and Rescue, responders to the scene included: Jamaica Fire and Rescue, Wardsboro Fire and Rescue, Londonderry Ambulance, Londonderry Rescue, Windham Fire, Rescue Inc., Brattleboro Fire Department Dive Team.

The name is not being released at this time until all family members are notified of the accident.

According to the website, Waterfalls of the Northeastern United States, 12 fatalities have occurred at this waterfall that drops approximately 125 feet. In addition a sign at the Hamilton Falls states, "Do not swim here! Hamilton falls is very dangerous. The rocks are very slippery."

Maddi Shaw can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext 275.


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