Body spotted at bottom of Quechee Gorge

Could be the fourth suicide this year at the Gorge

QUECHEE GORGE - Pedestrians looking over the scenic Quechee Gorge as it filled with fog early Tuesday evening spotted someone’s body on rocks near the center of the Ottauquechee river some 163-feet below, prompting a response from Hartford’s emergency services just as the sun was setting.

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    The disturbing discovery came just after 8 p.m. although police said what they assume to be a suicide could have taken place up to several hours earlier before it was noticed.

    If the death does turn out to be self-inflicted it would be the fourth suicide at the Gorge just this year and would make 2018 one of the worst years for jumpers in recent memory at the popular tourist landmark.  In the past, the Gorge has averaged about a suicide per year although in some cases several years have gone by at a time without such an incident.

    Hartford Fire Chief Scott Cooney was at the scene and determined that it was too dangerous to attempt a recovery operation in the dark, saying that fire crews would return first thing in the morning and make the long hike to the base of the Route 4 bridge.

    Hartford police officers taped off the pedestrian walkways on the bridge but the roadway remained open to vehicular traffic.  Police also posted an officer overnight to guard the bridge and a car in a nearby parking lot with out-of-state plates that detectives suspect may belong to the victim although there was no sign of a note or anything else out of the ordinary in the vehicle.

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