Body Pulled From Car Near Brink Of Niagara Falls In Dramatic Rescue Attempt

Investigators said Thursday they believe the woman intentionally drove into the river above the falls, getting stuck about 100 feet from the brink.
A U.S. Coast Guard diver is lowered from a helicopter to pull a body from a submerged vehicle stuck in rushing rapids just yards from the brink of Niagara Falls on Wednesday.
A U.S. Coast Guard diver is lowered from a helicopter to pull a body from a submerged vehicle stuck in rushing rapids just yards from the brink of Niagara Falls on Wednesday.
Jeffrey T. Barnes via AP

New York State Parks Police said a woman who was pulled from a submerged car near the brink of Niagara Falls on Wednesday has died in what appears to be an intentional act.

In a dramatic scene earlier in the day, a U.S. Coast Guard rescue diver deployed from a helicopter and climbed into the partially submerged car, pulling the woman out of the frigid water.

Onlookers said the car was stuck on rocks about 100 feet from the edge of waterfall as the heavy current washed over the top of the windshield.

Emergency personnel gather at the edge of the river where a woman was removed from a submerged vehicle.
Emergency personnel gather at the edge of the river where a woman was removed from a submerged vehicle.
Jeffrey T. Barnes via AP

Police Capt. Chris Rola said at a news conference afterward that the woman, who was in her 60s, was unresponsive after the rescue and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name has not yet been released.

Investigators said at a Thursday press conference that they believe the woman intentionally drove into the Niagara River.

Rola said police first received a 911 call at 11:50 a.m. ET about a black vehicle in the Niagara River floating towards the Falls, away from a pedestrian bridge upstream.

“We’ve never had a vehicle in the water this close to the brink,” Rola said.

After determining someone was inside the car, officials contacted the Coast Guard, having concluded that a helicopter was the only safe means to conduct a rescue.

A U.S. Coast Guard diver pulls a body from a submerged vehicle stuck in rushing rapids just yards from the brink of Niagara Falls.
A U.S. Coast Guard diver pulls a body from a submerged vehicle stuck in rushing rapids just yards from the brink of Niagara Falls.
Sharon Cantillon via AP

The investigation is ongoing.

State parks officials are working to determine how to best remove the car from the river. By Thursday afternoon, the car had flipped over and was closer to the edge.

Emergency personnel tend to the person pulled from the submerged vehicle.
Emergency personnel tend to the person pulled from the submerged vehicle.
Jeffrey T. Barnes via AP