Family, friends gather at wake of girl killed in plunge

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A wake was held Friday for the teenage girl who died after falling 30 feet from a cliff at a popular, but dangerous, swimming hole.

"This was a daughter primed for the greatest things in this world," says family friend David Wilson about Kelly Cortesi. "This is very sad for them."

The Putnam Valley High School student fell from a cliff at Bear Mountain State Park Sunday. She died Wednesday after a three-day struggle in critical condition at Westchester Medical Center.

Cortesi was with her mother and a friend in an area of the park known locally as the "Hell Hole" when she lost her footing, fell and hit her head. The area is off-limits, but swimmers and divers often sneak in to swim.

At her wake Friday at the Heritage Funeral Home in Putnam, Cortesi's family remembered her as a dancer, honor roll student and as a person who was full of life.

No funeral is planned for Cortesi. Instead, there will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. Saturday at the German American Club in Putnam Valley.

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