Community mourns girl in Bear Mountain State Park fallPosted: Updated:
The Putnam Valley community is mourning a teenager who fell 30 feet from a Bear Mountain State Park cliff, hitting her head.
Kelly Cortesi, 16, died Wednesday morning after her three-day struggle in critical condition at Westchester Medical Center. The girl fell down an area known locally as "Hell Hole" while swimming in the restricted area with her mother and a friend Sunday.
Sergei Dolukhanov is a lifeguard who happened to be at Hell Hole during the incident. He says Cortesi stopped breathing, so he did mouth-to-mouth until an officer arrived.
"He was doing the compressions to get the oxygen flowing throughout her bloodstream and I was doing the rescue breathing," Dolukhanov says.
The popular Putnam Valley High School student had just finished her sophomore year. She was a member of the track and field hockey teams. She was also a counselor at a YMCA day camp and an honor roll student who is described as someone who loved to take Irish dance classes.
"She was quiet, but once you got to know her, she was so funny," says Putnam Valley High School classmate Daniella Zarcone. "She's [was] so sweet."
A local flower shop has been sending arrangements to the honor roll student's home. Employees at a salon that Cortesti and her mother used to visit together say their thoughts and prayers are with the family.
A wake is planned for Friday at Heritage Funeral Home in Putnam Valley. A memorial service is set for Saturday at the Putnam Valley Ambulance Corps, where Cortesi's brother is a member.