Tonawanda News

The City

July 21, 2013

Serious injuries after night river boat collision

Tonawanda News — Police were at the scene of a collision between two boats on the Niagara River late Saturday off the shore of Niawanda Park in the City of Tonawanda. At least one person was critically injured and a search continued early Sunday for additional victims.

Sources told the Tonawanda News the two vessels collided about 10:30 p.m., shortly after night fell. A man was the lone passenger found on one of the vessels after it crashed into the break wall on the river's Grand Island shore. He was unresponsive and taken to ECMC, sources said. 

City of Tonawanda police, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Erie County Sheriff's Department helicopter were still searching for potential other passengers on that boat.

Police are operating in the assumption the male found on board was not the only person on board.

A woman who was responsive and speaking with authorities was taken off the second boat, which came to rest on the Tonawanda shore near the Niawanda Park boat launch, where authorities staged their rescue effort. A large boat with visible damage could be seen being towed on a hauler from the Tomawanda side just about 12:30 a.m. Sunday with vegetation stuck into a gash on its port side.

The News source said despite the fact the river was dark several boats were still spotted in the area and even as rescue efforts were under way police and coast guard officials were forced to steer boaters away from the accident scene.

For more information, check back to Sunday.

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