Police release name of 19-year-old who died after falling into gorge off Inner Loop

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. The 19-year old man who fell to his death at the gorge at High Falls is Rory Lochner. Police say he was near the falls with a group of friends.

News10NBC talked to both Rochester police and firefighters about the recovery operation. Rochester Police Lieutenant Greg Bello tells us the area where these friends were in was not open to the public.

“Fire department personnel responded, the medical examiner responded, and unfortunately he was beyond help, and passed away from the incident this morning,” Bello said.

Lochner died just after 2 a.m. Thursday after he climbed through a hole in the fence and fell to the bottom of the gorge.

“He was with a group of friends,” Bello said. “Had gone into the park area there. Somewhere across the Inner Loop area by the train tracks, and through there, and unfortunately, tragically fell in a hole and fell to his death.”

Although we don’t know exactly where the friends entered, the general area of the recovery operation happened on Mill Street. Rochester Fire Department Captain David Abdoch calls the operation a difficult one. It’s estimated that Lochner fell about 150 feet.

“It turned into a rope rescue/confined space because of where they were, and that’s something that the fire department does,” Adboch said. “We do lot more than just fighting fires. We have people who are trained in high angle and low angle rope rescue, which we deal with a lot around the gorge and when people fall down in places.”

It’s not the first time something like this has happened recently.

“About a month ago we also had somebody tragically fall into the gorge, not necessarily at the same exact spot,” Bello said. “I haven’t been down there to determine the exact location of each myself, but in a similar area there was somebody at the end of July, July 30, that also fell in the gorge in an accidental method.”

Police say foul play does not play a role in Lochner’s death but also send a reminder to anyone who goes exploring around the High Falls.

“Those fences and the signs are there for a reason, and tragically in the past little over a month, two lives have been lost down there, which is incredibly sad,” Bello said. “My heart goes out for both families.”

Authorities are calling Lochner’s death accidental. The hole in the fence where police say he may have entered has since been covered up with a wooden board.