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Harborfields High graduate dies in upstate water accident

A 2012 Harborfields High School graduate and SUNY Plattsburgh student died after jumping from a bridge into a northern New York river, State Police said Monday.

Evan S. Gillies, 21, of Huntington, failed to resurface after jumping into the Saranac River off Oxbow Bridge in upstate Schuyler Falls on Sunday afternoon, according reports.

Friends called emergency crews and his body was recovered from the river more than an hour later, according to published reports.

A woman who answered the phone at his parents' Huntington home and identified herself as Gillies' sister said the family did not want to comment.

According to published reports, Gillies lived off campus and was a junior majoring in business administration.

While at Harborfields High School, he played lacrosse and was an honor-roll student.

Friends of Gillies posted on Facebook about the weight of the loss. Among them was Jake Oswald, who wrote, "You were one of the coolest and nicest kids I've ever known. You will be missed by all of us. Rest easy brother."

Other tributes included, "Rest in peace to a close friend who always put a smile on my face," Lauren Stark posted. "This doesn't seem real. I know you're having your own party wherever you are, we'll meet again someday. R.I.P. Evan."

Bryan Hartman, vice president for student affairs, noted in a statement to SUNY Plattsburgh students, faculty and staff that counseling was available.

A viewing will be held Friday from 2 to 9 p.m. at M.A. Connell Funeral Home, 934 New York Ave. in Huntington Station. A Mass will be held Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs R.C. Church in Centerport. Burial follows at St. Patrick's Cemetery.

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