Zoar Valley hiking tragedy costs two Buffalo brothers their parents


GOWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – A hike through Zoar Valley, by a South Buffalo family Sunday, turned tragic, leaving two young brothers recovering from their injuries, while they face the much longer emotional recovery of growing up without their mother and father.

Alexander Green, 4, and his brother Jacob, 7, are being treated for a variety of injuries at Women and Children’s Hospital, surrounded by family members, focused on helping the two boys through this ordeal.

Investigators said the two boys were hiking with their parents, William and Amanda Green along the rim of the Zoar Valley Gorge and all four family members ended up at the bottom of the gorge.

Hikers found the parents, and the younger brother Alexander next to the creek. Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard said both of the adults had died, Alexander was seriously injured.

“The first two hikers that found the bodies did not have a cell phone. They flagged down a third hiker that had a cell phone and they made the call.” Howard said, Jacob was able to somehow walk away, but sustained a broken ankle and wrist.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation regularly patrols Zoar Valley, and Capt. Daniel Richter, of the Division of Forest Protection, described the state multiple use area as scenic, but treacherous.

“The gorge is 100 to 200 feet above the level of the stream. So it i like anything else, you do not want to get to close to the edge The gorge is 100 to 200 feet above the level of the stream. So it i like anything else, you do not want to get too close to the edge.”

The Greens’ extended family released the following statement:

Words cannot express the grief, heartache and shock that our family is experiencing. But, at the same time, we are blessed that Jake and Xander are still with us, receiving compassionate care at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.

While we are blessed to still have them with us, these two boys have a long road ahead of them, in every sense.  While they continue their recovery, the reality is they have lost the security of their home and their parents. We have a strong family and the boys will be surrounded with love.  Because so many people have requested that we provide a way to help support their future, a funding site has been established.

Arrangements have been made at Buszka Funeral Home in Buffalo. The date and times of services are still being finalized and will be shared in the near future.

As of Monday a spokesman for the Erie County Sheriff’s Office listed Alexander Green in guarded condition in the ICU at Women and Children’s Hospital, with a head injury, multiple fractures, and internal injuries.

The spokesman said Jacob is in good condition with a broken right arm and ankle. Sheriff’s detectives continue their investigation into how the accident occurred.

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