When William and Amanda Green took their two boys on a weekend outing, they headed for the Zoar Valley Gorge, a rugged area not far from their Buffalo, New York, home that includes waterfalls, forests, and cliffs that plunge as many as 40 stories. But a summer hike turned tragic when both parents were found dead Sunday near a creek at the bottom of the gorge, the AP reports. Their 4-year-old son, Alexander, was nearby with severe injuries, and their 7-year-old, Jacob, though less severely injured, was found hours later wandering the gorge floor alone. Police on Monday were still trying to piece together exactly how the tragedy unfolded, though they said it appeared that the parents and Alexander fell about 200 feet down the cliff.
"It's sheer. It drops straight down," Erie County sheriff's spokesman Scott Zylka said of the area where the family was found. "It is a gorge," added Capt. Daniel Richter, a New York state forest ranger. "It's like anything else. You don't want to get too close to the edge. There have been accidents. There have been fatalities. It's just the nature of the area." Alexander was listed in guarded condition Monday at a Buffalo hospital where he was being treated for internal injuries, fractures, and a head injury. Jacob was taken to the same hospital and was in good condition with a broken right arm and ankle. It was still unclear Monday if the older boy fell along with his parents and brother. (Read more accidental death stories.)