Mother dies after jumping off Niagara Falls with son, 5, who miraculously survives 90-foot fall onto ice below

17 February 2023, 05:49

The woman jumped off Niagara Falls with her son
The woman jumped off Niagara Falls with her son. Picture: Getty/WGRZ-TV

By Kit Heren

A woman has died after jumping off the Niagara Falls with her five-year-old son, who survived the 90-foot drop but is in a critical condition.

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The incident, which police are not treating as an accident, took place on Monday, February 13.

The boy was rescued from the bottom of the iconic waterfall, which is in New York State, on the border with Canada.

"Unfortunately, the female did not make it,” New York State Park Police Captain Chris Rola told reporters.

They fell most of the way to the bottom, landing on an icy patch where rescuers were able to reach them.

"Our rescuers, along with Niagara Falls Fire Department, were able to reach pretty quickly both of the victims."

Emergency workers at the scene
Emergency workers at the scene. Picture: WGRZ-TV

The icy and windy conditions made it difficult for rescuers to reach the boy, who has a severe head injury but is expected to survive after being airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery.

"Although today it’s nice out, it’s very icy down there,” Captain Rola said. “It’s real tough terrain that our guy and our girls were able to get through and get to them and provide that life-saving care and do everything they could but, as far as putting other people at risk, we were going to make every effort for that child that was still alive at the time.

He added: "Niagara Falls is a tough place to perform rescues and we have swift water rescue team we have high angle rope rescue guys that train all the time.

"Niagara Falls fire [department] is great, and as you can see, the State Police are a great partner with us and their aviation crews top notch."

A helicopter at the scene
A helicopter at the scene. Picture: WGRZ-TV

The mother and son were visiting the waterfall on a family holiday from Illinois, along with her husband.

Officers said they were interviewing the husband along with other key witnesses.

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls. Picture: Getty

Captain Rola said: "The investigation is ongoing, but we don't believe it is an accident." A spokesperson for the police later said that officers would not be releasing names of victims because it is a possible suicide attempt.

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