ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A 19-year-old city resident was found dead after falling into the High Falls gorge early Thursday morning in what first responders say was a “tragic accident.”

Officials identified the teenager as Rory Lochner of Rochester.

According to police, officers arrived at St. Paul Street near Rochester’s Inner Loop following a 911 call about a male who fell into the gorge just after 2 a.m. and was unresponsive.

Authorities say the location was near High Falls. Responding officers arrived at the scene and found fencing north of the Inner Loop had been damaged to allow entry through it. On the other side of the fencing, there is an area that drops approximately 150 feet down into the gorge.

Northeast section of Rochester’s Inner Loop where police responded to the 911 call Thursday (News 8 WROC Photo / Eric Schedlbauer)

That was where the male was found with obvious injuries, according to officials. Rochester firefighters were able to extricate the local teenager who was pronounced dead on the scene.

“It turned into a rope rescue and confined space, because of where they were. That’s something the RFD does, we do a lot more than fight fires,” said Captain David Abdoch of the Rochester Fire Department. “We’re 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.”

Rochester Police Lieutenant Gregory Bello later said a group of teenagers had trespassed over the fence. He and the rest of the department do not believe foul play was involved in this incident.

“It’s just a reminder along the riverway, along the gorge in those areas, make sure we follow the posted signs and fencing to ensure safety along those areas,” Lt. Bello said. “Those fences and signs are there for a reason. Tragically, in the past month – two lives have been lost there which is incredibly sad.”


Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.