Chicago man killed in NY cliff fall

August 23, 2010 (HUNTER, N.Y.) State police say Abraham Mendoza of Chicago was hiking with fellow students from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson when he left the group Friday afternoon to hike to the top of Kaaterskill Falls in the town of Hunter, in the northern Catskills 38 miles southwest of Albany.

Troopers say he apparently lost his footing and fell 80 to 100 feet to the base of the waterfall, located off a marked trail in an area described by police as "pretty treacherous".

Mendoza was flown to Albany Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

A family spokesperson says Mendoza was on a training hike with fellow students and faculty members when he died.

"He was a very wonderful guy, very incredibly brilliant, a brilliant chemist, very insightful. He was double majoring in chemistry and photography at Bard College," said Eric Campos, family spokesperson.

The death was the third on hiking trails in the area this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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