Benjamin Bochtler West Point cadet falls to his death off popular cliff diving spot, Fawn’s Leap in upstate NY. The spot is well known for Instagram users sharing daring photos.
A West Point cadet candidate had plunged to his death after falling off a popular cliff-diving spot best known for photos being taken and shared online.
Benjamin K. Bochtler was ‘hanging onto a rock ledge’ at Fawn’s Leap in the Green County town of Hunter, upstate NY – when a portion of the rock suddenly broke off — leading to the 20 year old falling to his death, Saturday morning, circa 11.am police said in a press release.
Lifesaving measures were attempted at the scene, but were unsuccessful the Times Herald Record reported.
Benjamin Bochtler was described by military officials as a ‘prior-enlisted combat veteran’ from Bellevue, Nebraska.
The Army Times reported Bochtler entering West Point Prep in July. He had already served about three years in the Army, including a deployment in Afghanistan from April 2018 to January 2019.
It was unclear if the military man was attempting a dive at Fawn’s Leap when he fell.
Fawn’s Leap a dragnet for daring photo taking:
The swimming hole is located along a stretch of Kaaterskill Creek, famous for its crystal-clear water and steep cliffs. Videos (see above) and pictures posted online show people taking ‘epic leaps of faith’ — some from heights over 50 feet.
At least four people have died while attempting to snap pictures to post on the social media platform, according to the New York Times, which spoke to a state forest ranger about the ill advised ‘craze’ last August.
‘Just talking to people who come up here, they say, ‘Yeah, we saw this on the internet — we’re trying to find it,’’ said Ranger Rob Dawson. ‘The unfortunate thing is, with those pictures, there’s nothing informing people that you could get seriously hurt here, too.’
Military officials said Bochtler was well-liked among his peers and set ‘a tremendous example’ for his fellow cadet candidates.
‘Bochtler had an incredible smile and infectious positive attitude,’ said Col. Joshua Higgins, commandant of the US Military Academy Preparatory School according to the nypost.
‘He was everyone’s friend,’ Higgins added. ‘His warm personality and that big smile made a lasting impact on everyone at [the US Military Academy Preparatory School]. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and friends.’
It remained unclear if Bochtler had been taking photos at the time of his death.