Family, friends remember teen who died after falling into Poestenkill Gorge

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Family and friends are remembering a teen who died after falling into the Poestenkill Gorge Tuesday.

Officials say 16-year-old Connor Reynolds was swimming in Poestenkill Gorge Tuesday, when he fell about 20 feet into the water, hit his head, and didn’t resurface.

A spokesperson and friend of the family, Bryan McGuire, says Connor was your typical 16-year-old boy. He loved his friends and playing video games. He was also interested in graphic design and motorcycles.

He had just received his learners permit on his 16th birthday.

“He had his challenges just like every 16-year-old,” McGuire said. “He didn’t like going to school and he didn’t like getting up early in the morning. In his heart, he was an amazing young man and it just breaks my heart that we’re not going to find out the man he would have become.”

Earlier in the day, Connor’s report card came home. He had passed all of his classes and was looking forward to becoming a senior at Tamarac High School.

Connor just attended his junior prom. His mother Lory stood beside him with a smile that night, but now she is grieving the loss of her son.

“Connor’s mom is of course terribly upset. She’s going in and out of virtually inconsolable.”

McGuire was shocked to learn that Connor had died at the gorge.

Connor was swimming with his friends in the gorge. McGuire says Connor’s friends tried to find him, but couldn’t.

When emergency crews arrived on scene it took them nearly two hours to recover his body. Connor was trapped under a ledge.

“This is extremely traumatizing. I think the only way anybody can move forward is with time and support from family and friends.”

He says he can’t imagine the pain Connor’s friends who were with him are going through.

“They jumped in and tried to save him and they couldn’t find him.”

McGuire says although Connor’s mother knew he was out with friends, she didn’t know he was at the popular swimming spot.

McGuire hopes some good can come out of Connor’s death. He wants people to be more careful when exploring this spot.

“I really hope that this can really be a message especially to all his classmates at Tamarac that it’s not all fun and games and when something looks dangerous you probably should stay away.”

There are some signs on one side of the gorge that say no trespassing, but none that specifically say not to go in the water.

Cheri Abbott, of Troy’s Cookie Factory, says she sees people going down there all the time.

“Even if they put up another fence, the kids are determined. If they’re going to get down there, I don’t know how to block it off,” Abbott said. “If we see them, we call the police and have them come.”

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden says the city will look at the signs and decide if more or different signs are needed.

If you would like to help the family, you send them a donation through their GoFundMe page.

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