LeRoy, N.Y. – A Batavia man is recovering at Strong Hospital after being rescued from Buttermilk Falls in LeRoy Wednesday night.
Brandon Smart, 34, fell off Buttermilk Falls in LeRoy just before 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
He was caught by a narrow ledge halfway down the 75-foot drop. Rescuers said the ledge prevented more serious injuries. Smart suffered bruises, scrapes, a head injury, and complained of pain in his neck. A Mercy Flight helicopter had responded to the scene, but was not needed. Paramedics took Smart to Strong Memorial Hospital by ambulance.
A second man, Michael Hayes, 24, of Rochester, climbed down the gorge to help Smart.
Emergency crews initiated a rope rescue to pull both men out off the gorge.
According to their preliminary investigation, Genesee County Sheriff's Deputies report Smart was attempting to hand a case of beer to another person who had partially climbed down the cliff. Investigators said it appeared that Smart lost his balance in the process, and fell 40 feet onto the ledge.
Seven people were arrested for trespassing:
- Nathaniel Clark, 20, of Rochester
- Sara Gianni, 20, of Rochester
- Donald Hayes, 27, of Rochester
- Michael Hayes, 24, of Rochester
- Tatijana Kacurovski, 19, of Webster
- Melany Schlicker, 18, of West Henrietta
- James Sharpstene, 25, of Pavilion
Deputies said charges are pending against Smart.
Genesee County Fire Coordinator Tim Yaeger says the group was likely doing what so many people do in the warmer months: partying near the falls.
Yaeger says the falls were particularly dangerous Wednesday, because of the spring rush.
"Kids may be sightseeing or walking along these gorges, river creeks and fall sides," Yaeger said. "We don't want to see anybody else get hurt."