• Published

CASTILE – The hiker who died after falling into a gorge near Letchworth State Park’s Lower Falls has been identified as a North Tonawanda resident.

The body of Stephen Bzibziak, 21, was recovered today, according to State Park Police. Authorities said he called 911 for help after falling into a gorge Wednesday afternoon, and his body was located several hours later by members of the State Park Police Rope Rescue Team.

However, the recovery effort was halted Wednesday by nightfall and winter weather conditions, police said. Numerous state and Wyoming County agencies, along with Adventure Calls Outfitters, a rafting business, were deployed for today’s recovery mission.

Last fall, a State Police officer died after falling during a training exercise in the Wolf Creek area of the park, which is east of the site of Wednesday’s accident. Trooper Ross M. Riley had been a member of the Special Operations Response Team.

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