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Fort Lee boy, 16, dies in fall from cliffs

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A 16-year-old Fort Lee boy fell nearly 250 feet to his death from the cliffs along the Palisades north of the George Washington Bridge last night after he climbed through a three-wire fence while with an Edgewater girl, police said this morning.

A TRIBUTE: “Wish I could go back a year ago today and just stay there,” tweeted 16-year-old John Graniello, the boy who fell to his death last night from the Palisades just north of the George Washington Bridge. READ MORE….

Mikki Oates, also 16, told police they were together when John Graniello “had fallen backwards off of the cliff” in the Fort Lee section of Palisades Interstate Park around 9:40 p.m., PIP Police Lt. Michael Coppola said.

Emergency responders converged on the scene, he said. They included the PIP police, the Fort Lee and Teaneck Fire Departments, the East Bergen Rappel team, Fort Lee EMS and police, Cliffside Park and Port Authority Police and the NYPD.

The view from where John Graniello fell

Port Authority Police and NYPD Emergency Service Units, Cliffside Park Fire Department and Teaneck Fire Department Box 54 were also there.

Using a helicopter and a fire department tower ladder truck, they spotted the boy’s body a short distance from Henry Hudson Drive but “due to the time of night, remote location, and cliff-side hazards,” had trouble reaching him, the lieutenant said.

Although the actual cause of death isn’t considered suspicious, an official determination will be made by the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office, Coppola said.

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