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Fall leads to emergency response at Jamaica State Park

JAMAICA, VT — A teenager from Irvington, N.Y., died Thursday afternoon of injuries sustained after he fell about 100 feet at Hamilton Falls in Jamaica State Park.

According to a press release, Tyler Rosenberg, 17, was at the upper portion of the falls when he slipped and fell to the second pool, about midway down the falls.

After a concerted CPR effort, bystanders and troopers from the Vermont State Police were able to revive Rosenberg after he fell.

"The subject regained a pulse and respirations as a result and prior to being extracted from the wooded area surrounding the falls," stated the press release.

He was air-lifted by helicopter to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., where he died at 5:13 p.m.

Witnesses on scene reported Rosenberg was attempting to cross the upper most pool of the falls where it spills over, when he turned back away to find a better location to cross and slipped, causing him to fall into a chute that extends to the second pool of water below. The victim slid approximately 100 feet to the second, or middle, pool and sustained head injuries in the process.

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.

Jamaica Fire Chief Dana West said bystanders moved Rosenberg 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 teenager was then transported via an ATV to a helicopter before being airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to be treated for unknown injuries.

The victim's mother was on scene and publicly thanked all who worked to try and 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, Townshend Fire and Rescue, Wardsboro Fire and Rescue, Londonderry Ambulance, Londonderry Rescue, Windham Fire, Rescue Inc. and the Brattleboro Fire Department Dive Team.

According to the website, Waterfalls of the Northeastern United States, this makes the 13th person who has died at this waterfall that drops approximately 125 feet. 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.