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Waterfall deaths of 2 NY boys lead to charges

WARSAW, N.Y. -- Two New York men face manslaughter and other charges in the deaths of two young brothers under their watch who fell over a 70-foot waterfall.

Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen tells the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that the deaths were not only tragic but also “100 percent preventable.”

The prosecutor says 32-year-old Chad Staley and 34-year-old Tyler Jennings were with a group of five boys that left a designated trail at Letchworth State Park in Castile in June. They had gone into the water to get a better view of the falls – a restricted area-- when the two boys were washed away.

Six-year-old Preston Giangregorio and his 9-year-old brother, Dylan, were killed.

Staley and Jennings were indicted Tuesday on manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges. They also reportedly face multiple counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The two men, and the other children, whose ages ranged from five to 12, suffered non-life threatening injuries, reports CBS affiliate WIVB. Staley became trapped on the brink of the falls for nearly two hours.

O’Geen said in a statement the signage in the park designating the water above the falls as restricted is” clear and unmistakable.” 

“However, regardless of signs or no signs any area directly above or within close proximately to a major waterfall is inherently dangerous and common sense would dictate not allowing children to play in that vicinity,” the statement said.

He called it a “miracle” that others weren’t killed.

.It is unclear if Staley and Jennings have attorneys.

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