niagara falls car

Woman pulled from car in Niagara River just before it reached the falls

An intense scene is unfolding right now on the U.S. side of Niagara Falls, where a woman has been pulled via helicopter from a car that crashed into the Niagara River and nearly went over the brink.

Local reports say the vehicle was only 50 yards (150 feet) away from the massive waterfall when emergency responders reached the woman, whose car was nearly submerged at the time.

New York State Police have confirmed that the woman was local to the area, in her late 60s, and that she did not survive the ordeal.

No other passengers are believed to be in the vehicle, which as of 2:40 p.m. remained in the water.

The Buffalo News reports that witnesses called 911 early this afternoon upon seeing a car go into the Niagara River and get swept away by the rapids. An emergency operation was launched immediately.

Shortly after 2 p.m., a U.S. Coast Guard officer was lowered on a wire from a helicopter to rescue the vehicle's occupant as dozens of first responders waited to treat the woman on shore.

It was a harrowing scene, and witnesses were thrilled when the Coast Guard officer managed to grab hold of the woman through the car's passenger door.

The pair were carried over to the ground, where the woman was reportedly rushed into an ambulance in a non-responsive state.

Police have not yet said determined why the woman and her car wound up in the river.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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