NYLON – The men charged with the negligent deaths of two children at Letchworth State Park last year pled guilty to felony charges.
According to our news partner News10NBC, Tyler Jennings, 34, and Chad Staley, 32, pled guilty to felony Criminally Negligent Homicide.
Both men could face a maximum sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.
On June 11, 2016, five children and two adults were in the restricted area at Letchworth State Park when they went over the falls. Dylan Giangregorio, 9, and Preston Giangregorio, 6, did not survive.
The children fell 70 feet and were swept away by the river. It took search crews two days to recover the boys. The other children and two adults suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Prosecutors say Jennings and Staley brought the children to see the falls up close and allowed them to enter the water. While in the water, the children lost their footing and went over. Investigators say Staley was stuck at the brink of the falls for two hours until he was rescued by a rope crew.
At the time of the men’s indictment, Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen said that signage in parks is meant to prevent tragic incidents such as this.
“It is also important to note that the signage in any park mean something,” said O’Geen. “They are they to give notice, warning and assistance so that your stay can be enjoyable and safe. In the area where this occurred the signage is clear and unmistakable. However, regardless of signs or no signs any area directly above or within close proximity to a major waterfall is inherently dangerous and common sense would dictate not allowing children to play in that vicinity.”
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