N.Y. police report details Bridgeport firefighter’s rock climbing death

Photo of Tara O'Neill
Tara O’Neill


8, 2021

A police report from the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office in New York said Stephen Buda had reached about 150 to 175 feet of the roughly 200-foot section of the climb when he fell, suffering fatal injuries on Monday, Sept.

6, 2021.

Bridgeport FD / Contributed

BRIDGEPORT — A city firefighter who died from injuries he sustained while rock climbing in New York on Monday afternoon had nearly reached the 200-foot mark of his climb when he fell, according to authorities. The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said in a report that police and medics responded to the area of 3650 Route 44/55 in Gardiner, N.Y., for a 911 call about a fallen rock climber. The report identified the individual as 56-year-old New Haven resident Stephen M.

Buda III. Authorities said the preliminary investigation, which included witness accounts, suggested Buda was climbing in a popular spot of the Trapps Bridge section of the Mohonk Preserve. They said it appears he reached about 150 to 175 feet of the roughly 200-foot section of the climb when he fell.

The report said Buda was not wearing any climbing or safety equipment at the time. The Bridgeport Fire Department announced Buda’s death on Tuesday, adding that he leaves behind a wife and two children.

Buda, a pump engineer for the city’s fire department, was hired in August 2013. The department said rock climbing was Buda’s favorite hobby.

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