Community Mourns Student Who Died Hiking in Ulster County
A student died after falling 150 feet while part of an "unsanctioned hiking group" in Ulster County.
On Monday around 9:50 p.m., the Kingston Police Department received a call of a female that had fallen while hiking in and around the caves along Hasbrouck Park in Kingston.
Responding officers found a group of SUNY New Paltz students that were hiking in the area. A 20-year-old female student died after falling about 150 feet, police say.
SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian later identified the student as Katherine Vollmer of Rochester, NBC reports.
"We extend our deepest sympathy to Katherine’s family and friends and to the students, faculty and staff who knew her," Christian said in a statement.
According to Kingston Police, Vollmer was a part of an unsanctioned hiking group that was exploring the old cement caves and trails around 6:30 p.m., on Monday. The group later got lost and found themselves at the edge of a cliff.
While walking down along the edge of the cliff to return to their vehicles Vollmer slipped and slid off the edge of a cliff falling approximately 150 feet, police say.
The area where she fell could only be accessed by a rope rescue team, which had to wait until Tuesday morning due to weather conditions and lack of light. Vollmer was pronounced dead on the scene.
"I don’t really have many words because it doesn’t feel real that I have lost a sister and a best friend. Katherine was a light in everyone’s life. She was smart, and witty, and sarcastic most of the time. I often noticed myself looking up to her even though she was my little sister," Claire Volmer wrote on Facebook.
Vollmer was a visual arts major at SUNY New Paltz. She transferred to the college this fall from Monroe Community College.
Vollmer appeared to be an avid hiker. Her Facebook profile picture, seen above, shows her standing near the edge of a cliff in what appears to be the Hudson Valley. Her Twitter profile picture shows leaning against a warning sign that reads "DANGER" and shows a person falling off a cliff.
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