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Police & Fire

SUNY-New Paltz Student Falls To Her Death While Hiking

A SUNY Paltz student fell to her death while hiking at Hasbrouck Park in Kingston.
A SUNY Paltz student fell to her death while hiking at Hasbrouck Park in Kingston. Photo Credit: Hasbrouck Park/City of Kingston

A SUNY New Platz student has died after falling 150 feet while hiking near the caves in Hasbrouck Park.

Katherine Vollmer, 20, of Rochester, was discovered around 9:50 p.m., Monday, Nov. 18, after the Kingston Police received a call of a female that had fallen while hiking, said the Kingston Police Department.

Officers responded to the area and were able to locate a group of SUNY New Paltz students that had been hiking in the area. Vollmer slipped and fell off of a cliff at the top of Hasbrouck Park, the department said.

Vollmer had been part of an unsanctioned hiking group that was exploring the old cement caves and trails, police said.

During the hike, the group became lost and found themselves at the edge of a cliff. The group was walking down along the edge of the cliff to return to their vehicles, police said.

Vollmer slipped and slid off the edge of a cliff falling approximately 150 feet.

The area where the student fell was only accessible by an experienced rope team. Due to the lack of light and poor weather conditions, it was decided that the recovery of the student would have to wait until daylight.

Early Tuesday, Nov. 19, members of the Kingston Fire Department Rope Rescue Team and members of the Kingston Police Department Emergency Services Unit recovered Vollmer's body.

Vollmer had suffered severe trauma from the fall and was pronounced dead at the scene.

College President Donald P. Christian said Vollmer was a visual arts major who transferred to New Paltz from Monroe Community College this fall.

"We extend our deepest sympathy to Katherine’s family and friends and to the students, faculty, and staff who knew her," Christian said.

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