Niagara River driver intentionally drove her vehicle into Niagara Falls according to investigators as she is declared despite efforts to save her.
A woman who died after driving her vehicle into the freezing waters of Niagara Falls on Wednesday deliberately drove into the waterway, investigators said.
‘At this point in the investigation, entry into the water appears to be an intentional act,’ New York State Park Police Capt. Christopher Rola told the Buffalo News in a Thursday statement.
After going in the water, the car came to a rest about 100 to 150 feet from the American Falls.
The incident triggered a caught-on-camera rescue by the Coast Guard — as a diver was lowered down from a helicopter and able to retrieve the woman.
But the female driver, who authorities said was in her 60s, was later pronounced dead. She was the sole occupant of the car.
Suicide death wish
The incident happened on the American side of the falls around noon on Wednesday. Video from the rescue attempt showed Petty Officer 2nd Class Derrian Duryea, in an orange suit and with an axe in his left hand, buffeted by winds and spraying water as he was lowered 80 feet (24 meters) to the car through the falling snow. After slowly spinning and swinging past the car, he was able to grab hold on the passenger side and open the door.
About two minutes after entering the car, with water surging around the vehicle and over the brink of the falls about 50 yards (45 meters) downstream, Duryea emerged and signalled for flight mechanic Jon Finnerty to hoist him and the motionless driver, a woman in her 60s, from the water.
‘The current was ripping pretty good through there, and the car was close to the edge of the falls. If it moved, we didn’t want him getting dragged out with it,’ Finnerty said.
The woman’s cause and manner of death have yet to be determined as investigators awaited the results of an autopsy and a medical examiner’s report.
As of Thursday, her vehicle remained in the river — inching closer to the edge.
Police have not identified the driver, but she was reportedly a local resident from the Buffalo-area investigators said. It remained unclear what led to the un-named woman intentionally driving into the Niagara Falls river banks and seeking to kill herself.