YORKTOWN, N.Y. (CBS 2/WCBS 880) — A night out with friends ended with a deadly 40-foot fall.
It was a tragic end to a life of promise — in a place where many young people have tempted fate.
CBS 2’s Tony Aiello has the story from northern Westchester.
It’s a place of beauty, and a place of potential danger where Monday some brought flowers, paused to say a prayer or spent a quiet moment reflecting on the brief but vibrant life of 19-year-old Brendan Frail, of Yorktown.
“Brendan was such a sweet …,” family friend Bruce Apar said before breaking down.
Apar is one of many family friends devastated by what happened late Saturday night on the railroad bridge over the Croton Reservoir, which is now part of a recreation trail.
Investigators said Frail and three friends climbed over a security fence to hang out on a concrete abutment, dangling their legs 40 feet over the water. Frail apparently lost his balance and fell to his death.
His body surfaced early Sunday morning.
“Anybody would be blessed to have a Brendan Frail as their son,” Apar said.
Apar said he hopes Frail’s death reminds young people it’s dangerous to sit on the ledge, let alone jump from it, something countless young people have done over the years.
Yorktown Supervisor Susan Siegel also echoed those sentiments.
“I hate to say it but sometimes it takes a tragedy like this to call attention to certain behavior and to say ‘think twice before you do this again’ because something could happen,” Siegel told WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi.
“It’s scary to think about what could happen. Kids think they’re invincible, nothing could happen to them,” Yorktown High School student Francesca Gonzales said.
“After a tragedy like this, I think people will definitely think twice,” student Kristin Hodgkinson added.
“The unfortunate publicity about this and the tragedy of it, will highlight the issue and maybe bring some consciousness to the young people who are hanging out at this spot and to the potential dangers,” Siegel said.
Police reported finding no signs of suicide or foul play. They also failed to find any cans or bottles to indicate the young people were drinking alcohol.
Frail was studying to be a teacher. He’d spent the summer working as a camp counselor.
Friends said a life of promise ended far too soon.
The medical examiner said the victim likely struck his head on the bridge before falling to this death.