Police pulled the body of an Ellington teenage girl from a New York creek on Saturday after she and a man were reported to be in distress in the water while tubing.
The Ulster County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 14-year-old girl after recovering her body from Espous Creek in Shandaken, New York on Saturday.
Ellington Superintendent Scott Nicol informed parents and the Ellington community about the loss of Ellington High School freshman Jordyn Engler, 14, and notified them that "with the tragic loss" of Engler, "students, staff, family and friends gathered at Ellington High School on Sunday" from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. "to support one another."
Deputies and rescue personnel responded to the creek near the Allaben Cemetery at about 11:15 a.m. on Saturday to investigate a report that an adult male and teenage girl were in trouble in the water, the sheriff's office said.
Emergency crews pulled the man from the water and tried to rescue the girl. DEP shut down the portal that allows Schoharie Reservoir water to flow into the creek. Once the water level of the creek had lowered and the current weakened after several hours had passed, rescue crews recovered the body of the 14-year-old girl.
Police have not officially released the identities of the man rescued or the 14-year-old girl who died, but Nicol tweeted, "Prayers for the Engler family" and "#RIP JordynEngler."
"At this time, Jeff Engler, Jordyn's father, has recovered from his injuries and will be traveling back to Connecticut in the near future," Nicol wrote in a letter to the Ellington community. "Together, as a caring, tightknit community, we will support one another during this difficult time."
Jeff Engler posted about the tragedy of losing his daughter on a tubing trip in upstate New York on Facebook, asking for people's prayers and support and to hug their children for him.
A memorial fund has been set up on www.giveforward.com for the family.
"The Jordyn Engler Memorial was established to assist the family with expenses as well as make charitable donations in Jordyn's name to celebrate her life," the memorial fund page said.
The Fierce All Stars cheerleading team in Manchester also posted about the tragedy of losing Engler, one of their team members, on their Facebook page.
"Our hearts are heavy during this time. Jordyn had a beautiful soul and we are all honored to have had the opportunity to have her in our lives. Yesterday, we heard about her tragic passing. We ask that everyone please keep Jordyn and her family in your thoughts and prayers.
As a program, let's all be there for each other. We love and miss you Jordyn, forever in our hearts!" the Fierce All stars posted on Facebook.
Her coach, Kelly Davis said Jordyn "was an exceptionally hard working athlete."
"She was loved by her teammates and coaches," Davis said. "Her smile brightened the stage when she competed and you could tell, she was a performer!"
Shandaken police and ambulance, New York State Police, New York City DEP police, the Ulster Hose fire department, the West Hurley Fire Department, the Shandaken Fire Department, Phoenicia Fire Department, Olive First Aid and the Ulster County fire coordinator assisted with the investigation into the water accident in New York. The Ulster County Sheriff's Office In-Water Rescue Team , Ulster Hose Dive Team, New York State Police Dive Team and the Phoenicia-West Hurley-Olive Fire Swift Water Rescue Team also responded.
More counseling will be available to Ellington school students on Tuesday when students return from Labor Day weekend. School principals in the district were instructed to be in contact with staff, parents and students about the details. Support resources are also posted on Ellington Public Schools' website.