Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

indian falls

January 3, 2023 - 7:30am

indianfallsdept2022.jpg

Genesee County's smallest volunteer fire department shouldered a big burden during the pre-Christmas blizzard that blew through Genesee County a week ago, providing rest, warmth and food to about 60 people stranded in the area by the storm.

The Indian Falls Volunteer Fire Department has 12 members, but only six could muster the storm response because the rest were trapped in their homes by heavy snow.

For Chief Ed Mileham, the department's response began Friday morning, Dec. 23, when the dispatchers informed him that deputies had rescued two people and wanted to bring them to the Indian Falls Fire Hall to provide them shelter.

Sure, Mileham said, he would be to the hall in 20 minutes.

But getting there wasn't that easy. The storm was already blowing through the area and the passage from his home on Indian Falls Road to the fire hall on Route 77 was already covered in snow drifts.  It took close to half an hour for him to make the trip.

At 2 p.m., a couple more people arrived, then a few more, then a few more. 

"After a couple more people arrived, I called Lu (Lu Anne Mileham) and said, 'hey, can you put out a message to anyone available?'" Mileham said.

Dave Olsen said he couldn't get out of his yard, but Mileham spoke with another resident who had a snowplow, and he went and cleared a path for Olsen and his son Max.

With Max Olsen on board, the department could start participating in some rescues. 

"I started to get actual phone calls here at the Fire Hall," Mileham said. "'Hey, we're stuck here. We're stuck there.' Max went out, picked them up and brought them in. By five o'clock, I think we had 12 people here. By six o'clock, I called Lu and I said, 'Hey, can you do some sloppy joes up?' I said. 'I got 12 people down here,' but the time she got done making sloppy joes and I sent Max down to pick them up, and it was seven o'clock, and we had 20 people."

By midnight, the count was up to 40 people, and by Saturday morning, it was 60.

And it was quite a mix of people -- a group of young Asians, a couple from Munich, a couple from Poland, folks from California going to Niagara Falls, an ER doctor returning from work in Rochester to his home in Williamsville.  There were people from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Canada, and Maryland.

"It was a large number of people that were either coming from or going to Canada," Max said. "I think that might have been like a GPS thing. It wasn't the whole crowd by any means, but there was a definite consistency that they were all using their GPS, and it kept closing roads and redirecting them, so like, it seemed they kind of almost got funneled into this area."

The Indian Falls response to this influx of people was handled by Ed Mileham, Lu Anne Mileham, Dave Olsen, Max Olsen, Matt Delre, and Randy Filter.

The leadership came from Mileham, and Dave Olsen gives him all the credit for keeping things in order.

"We got a lot of comments that (the situation) was handled, probably, as best as it possibly could be," Olsen said. "With some of the people, they complimented the chief quite a bit for his professionalism and the way he kept everything in order and had a plan and kept things written down. You know, he had an organization. He thought ahead. He thought about getting the food and things that, Most of us were just thinking about, 'Oh, what's the next fresh hell is that this storm is going to bring?'"

No serious issues
In Oakfield, volunteers were called upon to deal with a couple of hypothermia cases that were very serious. Indian Falls was spared any dire medical cases but there was a woman who arrived at the hall from Oakfield. She has epilepsy and had left home without her medication. It had been more than eight years since she'd had a seizure.  After several hours, she informed Mileham that she was getting a headache, so he arranged for one of the convoys that were sweeping the area to pick up stranded motorists to transport her back to Oakfield.

Then there was the guy who showed up in a kevlar vest packing a sidearm.

It turns out he is private security for a company in Rochester.

"He walked in, and there were like five deputies, and one was Joe Graff (the chief deputy of investigations)," Mileham said. "He comes walking in. He's got his bulletproof vest on. He's got his pistol on. It's like two o'clock in the morning. 'Whoa, wait, who are you? Let's see your permit.' Had no ID. No wallet. Nothing."

He had left his wallet in his car.

The deputies took his vest and gun and secured it, and told him he could pick it up Monday at the Sheriff's Office.

"The guy said, 'Hey, I've got no problem with it. I'll see you Monday or Tuesday.'"

That level of cooperation was apparent throughout the two days folks were stranded at the Indian Falls Fire Hall, Mileham said.  People just got along and cooperated.  

The first night's sleeping arrangements weren't ideal. Since the number of travelers coming through the area was unexpected, Indian Falls wasn't quite prepared to host 60 people.  There were no cots or blankets on hand.

Fortunately, the hall's floor is heated.

"Everybody said that, once they got laid on the floor, they were pretty warm and comfortable," Mileham said.

The Red Cross delivered cots and blankets on Saturday so the second night at the shelter was a bit more comfortable.

Feeding sixty unexpected guests
The hard part was food.

Lu Anne Mileham hadn't exactly prepared to feed 60 travelers, but with the storm coming, she had stocked up in case she needed to feed department members.

"On Wednesday or Thursday, I happened to be at BJs and I thought, you know what, I'll pick up a couple of loaves of bread, some chips, some lunch meat and stuff," Lu Anne said. "I'm thinking if our guys get caught here, at least we'll have that, and we've got water and soda in the fridge, so but at least they'll have something to eat a little bit."

She also had some supplies at home, and with some kids in the hall, a couple of boxes of mac and cheese came in handy.

On Saturday morning, Mileham contacted Crosby's in Corfu and ordered six sheets of breakfast pizza.

Later that day, he ordered pizza from a new pizza shop in Corfu, and by then, he was aware that some of the Indians in the group were vegans, so he had to get some meatless options.  One guy wanted a white sauce pizza, too, so Mileham ordered a pizza with white sauce.

The one difficulty Mileham couldn't solve for one of his department's guests was getting the Buffalo Bills game on the TV.  Spectrum was out of service during the storm.

"He goes, 'really?' I go, 'Hey, I'm with you. If you can get it on your phone, great."

When The Batavian told Tim Yaeger, Genesee County's emergency management coordinator, that we were doing a story about the storm response of the Indian Falls Volunteer Fire Department, he texted back immediately, "Ed and Lu Anne Mileham specifically are truly amazing people.  From working the COVID vaccination site at GCC to covering calls in the West Battalion on a daily basis, we would be lost and in trouble without them."

It turns out, so would have been a bunch of people from throughout North America and Europe on Dec. 23 and 24 when Winter Storm Elliott hit Western New York.

See previously: 'Fast Eddy' hangs up badge after 32 years of police work

Top photo: By Howard Owens, of Max Oslen, Dave Olsen, Lu Anne Mileham, and Ed Mileham.

Photos below, courtesy of Ed Mileham.

img_0422indianfalls.jpg

img_0417indianfalls.jpg

img_0423indianfalls.jpg

December 28, 2022 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, indian falls, pembroke, news.

A chimney fire is reported at 1279 Indian Falls Road, Pembroke.

No flames show but there is smoke in the residence.

Pembroke Fire, Indian Falls Fire, and Corfu Fire dispatched.

UPDATE 3:12 p.m.: Crittenden asked to standby in Corfu's hall to standby for anything in Corfu, Pembroke, or Indian Falls.

UPDATE 3:16 p.m.: National Grid requested to the scene to cut power.

UPDATE 3:19 p.m. Tankers from Darien and Alabama requested to the scene.

UPDATE 3:26 p.m.: "It looks like we're getting a knock on the fire."  Crews are pulling exterior walls to check for extension.

UPDATE 3:38 p.m.: Red Cross shelter requested for two adults.

UPDATE 3:49 p.m.: Fire is out. Starting overhaul.

October 5, 2022 - 2:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, indian falls, pembroke.

img_2816sunset.jpeg

Photo by Joanne Meiser.

September 7, 2022 - 8:16am

wnyvetcemflags2021-4.jpeg

November 11, Veterans Day, will cap this year’s first-ever flag-raising Memorial Day ceremony, as the Avenue of Flags will be taken down at Western New York National Cemetery, William Joyce says.

Filled with interment flags that had either draped a veteran’s casket or accompanied a veteran’s urn to a final resting place, the Avenue is a traditional honor each year from Memorial to Veterans Day. It was installed in 2021 and inducted with a ceremony on May 29 of this year.

As director of Genesee County’s Veterans Services, Joyce gave his annual report Tuesday to the Human Services Committee, including how the inaugural flag ceremony went.

“It was well attended by the public and so well received. I know there wasn't much advertisement, but without the advertisement, there were still a lot of people present for in-ground burials. For cremation section 10 is now closed. It's due to its capacity. Now they're moving to Section nine. It's right next to it,” Joyce said. “And to this date, there have been 1,207 burials, that's as of today. And of those, I can proudly say I assisted 18 families with arrangements for burials at the National Cemetery.”

He is the only Memorial Council member in this area with authorization to arrange burials at the National Cemetery, he said. That just “broadens my scope on what I can do for the veterans and families,” he said.

A prior budget approval to purchase uniforms for the Honor Guard was well used, he said — “they spent every bit of that” — and Guardsmen now have a cohesive, professional appearance.

“They’re all looking the way they're supposed to out there, in the same uniform,” he said.

Two weeks ago he learned that the Department of the Army will pay volunteers $50 for every service they perform on behalf of fallen veterans. They will have to go through training first to become certified to perform services at the WNY National Cemetery, he said.

His office had 1,452 contacts and provided 5,321 client services during the past year, including help to file 106 veterans’ property tax exemptions. The first veteran burial at the new cemetery was on Oct. 18, 2020, and there has been an average of four to six per weekday ever since at the site at 1254 Indian Falls Road, Corfu, he said.

Construction has been ongoing to expand the original site due to a lack of capacity. Click here to see the latest drone flyover taken in August.

The Cemetery was approved in 2021 to display the Avenue of Flags from Armed Forces Day to the Saturday after Veterans Day. Joyce said that there will be an official ceremony on Nov. 12 to dispose of any flags that aren’t “serviceable,” he said.

Each flag had been presented to the next of kin of the veteran on behalf of the President of the United States and the branch of service the veteran served. Families donate their veterans’ interment flags to fly along the Avenue to represent their service and sacrifice to the country.     

The Memorial Council is responsible for the maintenance of the flags as well as collecting the donated flags.

For more information about the cemetery and related services, click HERE.

2021 File Photo of the Avenue of Flags at WNY National Cemetery in Corfu. Photo by Howard Owens.

July 15, 2022 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke, indian falls.

A motor vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Route 77 and Indian Falls Road.

Indian Falls Fire, Pembroke Fire, and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 10:32 a.m.: Minor injuries.

UPDATE 10:35 a.m.: T-bone accident, one vehicle off the road.  At least one patient will be a sign-off.

July 10, 2022 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, news, indian falls, pembroke.

img_2262.jpg

Photo submitted by Joanne Meiser.

July 6, 2022 - 8:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, indian falls, pembroke, news.

img_2232.jpg

Photo by Joanne Meiser.

June 9, 2022 - 8:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, pembroke, indian falls.

img_2056.jpg

Joanne Meiser submitted the photo of storm clouds rolling in near McAlpine Road in Indian Falls.

There is a strong thunderstorm alert for parts of Genesee County through 8:30 p.m.

Winds could exceed 35 mph and there may be pea-sized hail.

Areas affected could be Batavia, Darien Lakes State Park, Le Roy, Pembroke, Pavilion, Byron, Oakfield, Stafford, Alabama, Corfu, Elba, and Alexander.

May 16, 2022 - 11:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, indian falls, news.

img_1890.jpg

This evening's sunset in Indian Falls.

Photo by Joanne Meiser.

September 30, 2021 - 9:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, Stafford, pembroke, indian falls, news.

img_5278.jpg

I should have posted these photos earlier today but got sidetracked or something.  I took the top photo on the drive home from Rochester yesterday on Route 33.  The bottom photo is from Indian Falls by Joanne Meiser.

img_1380-preview.jpg

September 26, 2021 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, indian falls, batavia, byron, news.

img_5254hbosunset.jpg

This is a photo I took on Route 262 approaching Bryon yesterday evening.  Below, a shot from Frank Capuano in Batavia and one from Joanne Meiser in Indian Falls.

20210925_185851.jpg

img_5256.jpg

September 22, 2021 - 1:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke, indian falls, notify.

img_5251.jpg

There may be serious injuries following a motor vehicle accident on Route 77 at Indian Falls.

Dispatchers are checking on the availability of Mercy Flight.

The accident involves a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle. 

Pembroke and Indian Falls along with Mercy EMS  dispatched.

There are power lines down in the area.

UPDATE 1:52 p.m.: A person is trapped in the vehicle.  Mercy Flight is on in-air standby.  East Pembroke responding mutual aid.

UPDATE 1:58 p.m.: Mercy Flight is canceled.

UPDATE 5:20 p.m. (Information and Photos from Alecia Kaus/Video News Service): According to Chief Deputy Brian Frieday, emergency crews were called to Rt. 77 and Indian Falls road about 1:47 pm. Preliminary investigation shows a passenger vehicle was headed west on Indian Falls Road and failed to stop at the intersection at Rt.77. The passenger vehicle was struck by a northbound tractor-trailer. Both vehicles ended up in a field northwest of the intersection. Frieday confirms there are two fatalities in the passenger vehicle.  The driver and one passenger in the tractor-trailer were not injured.

img_5250.jpg

img_5249.jpg

August 31, 2021 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, pembroke, indian falls, news.

img_1264sunset.jpg

Yesterday evening, McAlpine Road, Indian Falls, by Joanne Meiser.

August 13, 2021 - 6:28pm
posted by Press Release in log cabin restaurant, indian falls, pembroke, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Health Department is aware of concerns about rodents at the Indian Falls Log Cabin restaurant located in Corfu, NY. 

Public Health Sanitarians conducted an inspection this morning, August 13th, 2021, and the owner has voluntarily closed the restaurant.

The facility will remain closed until further inspections are completed. 

August 9, 2021 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, news, pembroke.

A caller to emergency dispatch reports there are people in the water at Indian Falls.

The caller stated that the people parked their cars in the Log Cabin parking lot, on the south side of the falls, and walked around to the north side to enter the water.

A deputy is responding.

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: The caller is no longer at the restaurant but provided a description of the vehicles to pass along to a deputy.  The deputy has found the vehicles.

July 11, 2021 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, sunset, news.

img_1010.jpg

Sunset on McAlpine Road from yesterday, submitted by JoAnne Meiser.

July 11, 2021 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, news, notify.

img_20160717_175715996_hdr.jpg

Deep in the Sierra Madre Mountains on the West Coast are the California Caverns, a cave system that twists in a 30-foot descent until it reaches an abrupt 180-foot drop.

Spelunkers can now safely -- relatively speaking -- reach the bottom of this otherwise-seemingly bottomless pit. What Park Rangers have found in this dark, dank chamber are skeletal remains dating back centuries. The bones discovered there are always those of adolescents who took one step too many while seeking adventure.

Robert Sapolsky, a neuroendocrinologist and professor at Stanford University, used this example of adolescent risk-taking in his book Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.

Adolescents, research has shown, engage their prefrontal cortex less than adults when assessing risk.

By way of example, Sapolsky writes, "Researcher: 'How likely are you to have a car accident if you’re driving while drunk?' Adolescent: 'One chance in a gazillion.' Researcher: 'Actually, the risk is about 50 percent; what do you think your own chances are now?' Adolescent: 'Hey, we’re talking about me; one chance in a gazillion.' "

It's not just that adolescents do an inadequate job of assessing risk, but adolescent brain chemistry also drives them to seek more novelty and desire a close affiliation with peers.

That is one reason, perhaps, it is going to be difficult for local authorities to prevent another death -- and there have been at least 14 since 1870 -- at Indian Falls. 

The other issue is there is no clear answer as to who is responsible and accountable for what happens at Indian Falls. County officials and state officials have looked into it. There is no record of anybody -- not a private owner, not the government -- having title to that section of the Tonawanda Creek, even though it was once a site of grain mill wheels.

Former County Manager Jay Gsell said Indian Falls were a vexing issue for local officials throughout his 27 years running Genesee County. The last time during his career he and county staff looked into the issue was after Bradley Augustin drowned at the falls while celebrating his 22nd birthday. At that time, Assistant County Clerk Steve Grice researched the title for the land.  He found nothing. No former owner, no previous deed, no old tax map that assigned the property to anybody.

"We tried to find out, does anybody have the ability to assert legal authority over the property, to block all access? And the answer was no," Gsell said.

While private property abuts the falls on both sides and people often trespass on adjoining private land to get to the falls, the falls are also accessible from public land, notably Route 77 and its shoulders.

The property owners on the south bank of the Tonawanda Creek at the falls have been aggressive about trying to block access to the Tonawanda but those efforts at times have seemed futile. As for the state, neither Department of Transportation nor the Department of Environmental Conservation claimed state ownership of the land.

From the DEC:

The ownership of that section of Tonawanda Creek is unknown and would require a deed and title search at Genesee County to ascertain ownership. It is not DEC land. DEC enforcement jurisdiction in this area is the same as similar creeks throughout the state under the Environmental Conservation Law. For more information about trespassing laws for private land, please contact local law enforcement.

From the DOT:

NYSDOT would review any proposal from local officials to enhance safety along State Route 77 near the bridge over Tonawanda Creek. Guide rail is already in place and the surrounding area is posted for no trespassing.

The Log Cabin Restaurant overlooks the falls and the business is impacted anytime there is a rescue or recovery event at the falls. The owners have tried fencing and "no trespassing" signs.

A representative from the business said, "We have made our best efforts to keep people out of the dangerous swimming area."

In April, two months before Jacob C. Minnick, an 18-year-old championship diver from Lockport, jumped off the falls on June 17 and drowned, Barry Guthrie, a homeowner on the southside of the falls, wrote to the Pembroke Town Board. Over the course of a six-page letter, he outlined his efforts to try to keep kids from endangering themselves at the falls. He also offered to buy the falls so he could enforce private property rights at the falls themselves.

In 2020, he obtained a permit and built a 40-foot long fence with a locked gate at the main path from the restaurant parking lot across his property and to the falls. He said he still observed people in swimsuits, with towels and their own food and drinks, heading to the falls.

"These people were very persistent in getting down into the falls and were going around the fence's side perimeters," Guthrie wrote. "I secured a second building permit with the Log Cabin Restaurant owner to install two fence extensions on both side perimeters of the main fence."

That didn't stop people trying to get to the falls.

"People threw their bodies full force into the main gain and rotated the gate latch to open up the gate," he wrote. 

Would-be swimmers also used bolt cutters to defeat attempts to keep them from taking a fatal dive.

Throughout the season he tried numerous tactics to reinforce the fence but people continued to attack it. He installed trail cameras after four teenagers were rescued at the falls in July 2020. Even his cameras have been vandalized (he identified one local resident by name as a suspected culprit). With the cameras, he counted 33 trespass occurrences of four to five people each for a total of 140 possible trespassers.  

"During this time, people had no respect for my property even though I had multiple trespassing signs posted," he wrote. "People stole my trespassing signs. They also stole my chain with my trespassing sign still attached."

The only people he charged with trespassing were the four youths who had to be rescued. 

In one incident he took pity on the trespassers.

"I was at an anger level that I was going to charge everyone with trespassing," he wrote. "The police officer told me they wanted to talk with me and apologize and just get a warning. I was so upset that I didn't want to speak with them. Then the officer told me that one of the persons was in an internship with the Niagara Falls police department and another was in an FBI training program. Unbelievable! I didn't want to ruin their job potentials so I just let them all go with a warning."

Even with his efforts being circumvented at times, Guthrie estimates that he has stopped as many as 600 people from reaching the falls. 

The Town of Pembroke has also tried to do what it can to discourage people from going to the falls -- which is promoted on social media as a place for adventure -- by posting no parking signs on roads close to the falls.

Brian Frieday, chief deputy of road patrol for the Sheriff's Office, said officers are aware of the no parking signs and do what they can to maintain public safety.

"We do try to be proactive and check the area when not on other complaints," Frieday said. "Obviously, when patrols see cars parked illegally, that is a sign there are potentially people there. The illegally parked cars are ticketed and the patrols check for people at the falls."

Guthrie has researched the cost of putting up more fencing on public land around the creek, including DOT land, and he estimates it would cost $11,000.

At its June 25 meeting, the Pembroke Town Board discussed Guthrie's letter and was at least somewhat receptive to the idea of approaching the DOT about putting up additional barriers but at the same time, additional barriers aren't going to stop any youth determined enough to get to the falls.

"You can put up more fencing along the bridge but that isn't going to stop anybody from going down along state property, going around the fence," Supervisor Thomas Schneider said. "You can't put a fence in the waterway."

Guthrie's other idea: Work out a way either by contacting State Senator Ed Rath or a judge and getting clearance to buy Indian Falls for $1 and then he can enforce no trespassing on the falls.

That proposal was met with a bit more skepticism from Pembroke's elected leaders. First, they doubt such a purchase is even possible. Second, what would stop somebody else from offering more money for the property, or if at some time later, somebody comes along and offers an outrageous amount of money to Guthrie for his property?

The board seemed inclined to take no position on Guthrie's offer.

They did discuss the idea of putting up more warning signs.

Board Member Tom Dix said, "We could put up a sign at each end of the bridge that said so many people died here in the last 20 years, just a warning." 

Schneider said he has had similar thoughts.

"I thought about how to word it," Schneider said. "If you insist on going down here be sure to call your mother and say goodbye or something. I don’t know how to be tactful about it but get the point across."

The board didn't take any action after the discussion. Nobody said it, but there isn't a clear answer on what to do about adolescents taking a big risk with their lives at Indian Falls.

Further reading: A list of tragedies at Indian Falls going back to 1870 complied by the Town of Pembroke historian (pdf).

Photo: A reader-submitted photo from 2016 of a marker at Indian Falls placed in memory of Bradley Augustin.

June 29, 2021 - 9:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, indian falls, pembroke, news.

img_0971sunset.jpg

Sunset on McAlpine Road, Indian Falls, by JoAnne Meiser.

June 18, 2021 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, news, pembroke.

jacob_minnick_passing.png.jpg

Jacob Minnick, the 18-year-old from Lockport who died yesterday in a drowning incident at Indian Falls, was a back-to-back to Section VI diving champion, according to the Lockport Journal.

In his senior year at Lockport High School, Minnick was undefeated.

He had just completed his freshman year on Clarion University where he was a member of the swim team. The athletic department issued the following press release (and photo above):

CLARION, Pa. – Jacob Minnick, a member of the Clarion men's swimming & diving team, tragically passed away on Thursday, June 17. He was 18 years old. A native of Lockport, N.Y., Minnick had just completed his first year of study at Clarion and was an active member of the Golden Eagle team.

Information regarding memorial services are not available at this time.

"Jacob was a very sincere, polite, happy, caring kid," said Diving Coach Dave Hrovat. "In the time I got to know him, it was easy to see that he loved training with his teammates and loved being part of the program. He had a bright future ahead of him, athletically and academically. I want to express my heartfelt condolences to all his family and loved ones, and let them know that we are there for them in this tremendously difficult time."

"Jacob had a smiling, bright-eyed face every day walking on the pool deck," said Head Swimming & Diving Coach Bree Kelley. "He enjoyed his teammates and Clarion and we were excited to see him progress through our program. We are surely going to miss that smiling face. We will be offering counseling services for our team if they should need it but in the meantime our team will stand together to support one another through this tough loss."

"We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Jacob," said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Wendy Snodgrass, Ed.D. "He was an important and valued member of our men's swimming and diving program, and quickly developed strong bonds with his teammates and coaches. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and everyone who knew and loved him."

"I extend our deepest sympathy to Jacob's family, friends, teammates and the faculty and staff in the Clarion community who knew him," said Clarion President Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, Ed.D. "Any loss of life is a tragedy, but the grief cuts especially deep as we mourn a young man who had accomplished so much and had so much more to give."

Minnick recently completed his first year as a member of the Golden Eagle men's swimming & diving program, and was a Biology / Ecology major. A freshman from Lockport High School, he did not compete during the 2020-21 season but was an integral part of the team during their training schedule. One of the top divers in the history of Lockport, he was a three-time state meet qualifier in high school, with a number of section championships to his credit. He placed 14th at the state meet as a junior and 16th as a senior.

June 18, 2021 - 12:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, video, pembroke.

A volunteer dive team attached with the Alden Volunteer Fire Department located the body of 18-year-old Jacob C. Minnick, of Lockport, in the churning waters below Indian Falls at 5:51 p.m. on Thursday.

Minnick had apparently gone to the falls with a group of friends to jump off the rocks into the water and after one jump shortly before 4 p.m. he resurfaced briefly and wasn't seen again.

His friends tried searching for him themselves before first responders from Pembroke, Indian Falls, and the Sheriff's Office arrived.

The City of Batavia's Fast Water Team was dispatched to assist in the search and team members were in the water for about an hour before the dive team was able to deploy. It took a diver about 11 minutes to locate Minnick's body. Coroner Karen Lang declared him dead at the scene.

Also assisting at the scene were Emergency Management and Corfu fire.

Previously: Juvenile who jumped in Indian Falls has not been seen coming to the surface, rescue units responding

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button

News Break