According to the Kingston Police Department, authorities were notified around 9:50 p.m. on Monday night that a female had fallen while hiking in and around the caves in Hasbrouck Park, about 10 miles west of Poughkeepsie, New York.
The victim was identified as Katherine Vollmer, a 20-year-old Visual Arts major, by State University of New York at New Paltz President Donald Christian in a statement distributed to students.
Vollmer had allegedly been on an unsanctioned hike with a group of people who were exploring the old cement caves and trails around Hasbrouck Park when the group became lost in the darkness and found themselves on the edge of a cliff.
The group then began walking down the edge of the cliff to return to their cars when Vollmer slipped and plummeted approximately 150 feet, according to police.
“The area where the student fell was only accessible by an experienced rope team,” said the Kingston Police Department in a statement.
In fact, the area that Vollmer fell was dangerous enough that authorities made the decision to call off the recovery of until the next day due to lack of light and poor weather conditions.
Vollmer was found the next day and pronounced dead at the scene having suffered severe trauma from the fall.
“We extend our deepest sympathy to Katherine’s family and friends and to the students, faculty and staff who knew her,” said Christian according to the statement obtained by The Daily Freeman.