Woman who died after crashing car into freezing Niagara Falls drove into the water DELIBERATELY, with recovery workers trying to retrieve vehicle as it slips closer to falls’ edge
- Authorities are figuring out ways to pull a woman’s car out of the Niagara River after it appears that it was intentionally driven into the water on Wednesday
- As of Thursday evening, the vehicle is stuck on rocks, 30 yards from the edge of the Niagara Falls
- The U.S. Coast Guard managed to pull out the driver, an unidentified woman believed to be in her 60s and from the surrounding area, on Wednesday
- She was pronounced dead at the scene as her cause and manner of death are still under investigation through autopsy
- The woman was the only person trapped in the vehicle, which entered the river through an area between two nearby bridges
- A State Parks Police spokesperson said Wednesday evening that there were no plans to monitor the car or the area.
A woman who died after driving her car into the freezing waters of Niagara Falls did so deliberately, investigators say.
The unidentified woman, who is in her 60s, was killed after the vehicle plunged into the freezing rivers of the Niagara River in upstate New York on Wednesday, with State Police saying Thursday that the tragedy was not the result of an accident.
Recovery efforts continue to retrieve her wrecked car, which has floated closer to the edge of the iconic falls, and now sits just 30 feet from their summit.
The investigation tied to the incident remains ongoing.
New York State Parks Police said it was informed about the vehicle floating into the stream shortly before 12p.m. on Wednesday, before it got caught into a set of rocks, just some 50 yards short of the extremity of the Falls.
The car, which is said to have flipped over, moved 20 feet closer to the brink of the American Falls, one of three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls, on Thursday.
One person, a woman who was pronounced dead at the scene, was said to be in the vehicle before being retrieved by the U.S. Coast Guard Great Lakes on Wednesday at around 12:30p.m.
Her cause and manner of death have yet to be determined. A drone was used by the State Parks Police to identify her in the vehicle.
A vehicle is submerged in rushing rapids just yards from the brink of American Falls, one of three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
People look at a car submerged in rapids near the edge of American Falls in Niagara Falls
‘Due to the area where the vehicle was, our swift water team was not able to make a recovery,’ Rola said. ‘We contacted the Coast Guard and their helicopter … came out and was able to make a recovery.’
Rola added that the woman was found in the driver’s seat by a rescue swimmer.
Petty Officer 2nd class Derrian Duryea, wearing an orange suit, was lowered 80 feet to the car through the the snowy conditions. After slowly circling around the car, he was finally able to grab hold of the driver’s side and open the door.
‘As I was coming down I was just really focused on how am I going to get in this car when there’s, you know, pretty much rapids coming over the car right next to Niagara Falls,’ Duryea said by phone later after returning to Selfridge Air National Guard Base, northeast of Detroit, where the crew is stationed. ‘My sole focus was which window or door am I going in.’
‘Luckily, the car was unlocked and I didn’t have to break out any windows and I was able to open up the passenger side door and push it up against the current,’ he said.
A U.S. Coast Guard diver is lowered from a hovering helicopter to pull a body from a submerged vehicle stuck in rushing rapids just yards from the brink of American Falls, one of three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls on Wednesday
A U.S. Coast Guard diver,tethered to a hovering helicopter, pulls an unidentified woman from a submerged vehicle stuck in rushing rapids just 30 yards from the brink of American Falls
Emergency personnel gather at the edge of the where where the woman was removed from her submerged vehicle stuck in the Niagara River. Authorities are trying to figure out a way to remove the car
The woman was the only person trapped in the vehicle, which entered the river through an area between two nearby bridges, one for pedestrians and one for vehicles, according to the US Coast Guard.
The victim was a local, Rola added, but declined to reveal her address. Her body was taken to the Erie County Medical Examiner’s Office for review.
Meanwhile, New York State Parks Police will continue to work with other agencies to figure out the safest way to remove the unidentified vehicle from the water.
The car is currently nearly full submerged with its trunk open. Officials are unable to identify the car’s model and brand.
A State Parks Police spokesperson said Wednesday evening that there were no plans to monitor the car or the area over the next couple of days.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul shared her sadness by ‘the tragic loss of life at the Niagara River’ on Twitter on Wednesday. She thanked emergency crews and the New York Power Authority ‘for lowering river levels to assist first responders’.
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