UPDATE (12:30 p.m. Monday) — A 19-year-old Binghamton University student died Sunday at Buttermilk Falls State Park, according to the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

According to Public Information Officer Dan Keefe, officers from New York State Park Police, along with other local rescue crews, responded to the state park Sunday for a report of a “submersion” in an area inside the gorge that is off-limits to swimmers. When they arrived, they found the man had been pulled to shore and people were attempting life-saving measures.

Calistus Anyichie. (Image courtesy of Binghamton University)

Paramedics from Bangs Ambulance transported the man, identified as 19-year-old Calistus Anyichie, to Cayuga Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy is scheduled, Keefe said in an emailed statement, and an investigation into the circumstances is ongoing.

Anyichie was a student at Binghamton University and member of the basketball team. In a statement sent to the campus community, university administrators said Anyichie was a talented student-athlete, majoring in political science and entering his sophomore year.

“A talented young person has been tragically taken from us,” said President Harvey Stenger. “This is a heartbreaking loss for our community. We will do all that we can to be there for his family, for the team and everyone who knew Calistus.”

Patrick Elliott, director of athletics at BU, said, “Calistus was a bright and engaging young man with an infectious smile. He loved his academic studies at Binghamton and embodied the exceptional spirit of being a student-athlete at our University. This is a heartbreaking tragedy. Our sincere condolences go out to his family, teammates and fellow student-athletes.”

Support is available to Binghamton students, faculty and staff. For those in need of counseling services, the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team, along with the University Counseling Center (UCC), can offer support. Students who would like to speak to someone should reach out to the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team by calling 607-777-2804. The UCC can be reached by calling 607-777-2772. To reach someone after hours or for emergencies, students should call 911 or the UCC after-hours counselor by calling 607-777-2772 and selecting #2.

Faculty and staff seeking assistance should contact the Employee Assistance Program at 607-777-6655 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. An off-campus coordinator can be reached after hours by calling the 24-hour EAP call line at 1-800-822-0244.


ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca firefighters responded to a report of a college-aged man who had possibly drowned in Buttermilk Falls State Park on Sunday.

Rescue crews were dispatched at about 5 p.m. Sunday to the 300 block of West King Road at Upper Buttermilk Falls. When they arrived, the IFD said in a news release, they found an unconscious man in the water down about a 15-foot bank. While extricating him, firefighters said, they worked on providing medical attention. They used a rope system to get him out while paramedics from Bangs Ambulance stood by.

As of Sunday evening, the IFD said, “no further patient information is available.”

Guthrie Air, New York State Park Police and the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office assisted on scene. The sheriff’s office is investigating.

The incident Sunday was one of several this weekend that kept local responders busy, the IFD says. On Saturday, rescuers helped a woman who reportedly broke her ankle at the 30-foot dam on Giles Street. When they arrived, crews found the college-aged woman had fallen about 10 feet and landed on the dam control building. Firefighters used a rope system to get her out in just over an hour.

There were also two fires this weekend — a porch fire on the 400 block of North Albany Street that was brought under control in about 20 minutes and a kitchen fire at the Alice Cook House, a residential dorm at Cornell University.

Featured image courtesy of Binghamton University.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.