Tonawanda News

Local News

November 12, 2010

Man killed after jump from Rainbow Bridge

NIAGARA FALLS — Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are trying to determine the identity of a man who jumped from the Rainbow Bridge Thursday into the lower Niagara River at the base of the falls.

The man was killed by the fall.

“A member of the public, traveling on the bridge, told us someone flew over the railing,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent Kevin Corsaro said.

Falls police interviewed a pair of Ontario residents who said they were waiting to clear U.S. Customs inspections on the bridge about 10:45 a.m., when they saw a white male on the bridge’s pedestrian walkway.

According to the police report the man “place(d) one hand and a foot on the (bridge) railing, pulling himself to leap over the rail.”

Both witnesses said the man was alone on the bridge at the time he leapt over the rail.

The man is described as in his 40s, with a large build, balding and wearing glasses. He was also wearing a New York Yankees jacket.

Both Customs agents and Falls police officers said they could see the man’s body floating in the water below the bridge and New York State Park Police and Falls firefighters responded to the lower river in an attempt to reach the man.

As a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter hovered overhead, park police officers launched an inflatable raft to try to recover the man’s body. Officers reportedly got close to the body but the swift current of the lower river managed to pull the man downstream and into the whirlpool rapids.

At that point, recovery efforts were called off because they were deemed too dangerous.

Text Only
Local News