Two Dead In Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge Crash

On Wednesday, a vehicle racing towards a bridge at a Niagara Falls checkpoint from the American side collided and erupted in flames, resulting in two fatalities and leading to the temporary closure of several border crossings. While authorities were uncertain about the cause of the crash, they emphasized that there were no indications it was a terror attack.

On Wednesday night, the FBI’s Buffalo office announced the completion of its investigation, stating, “A search of the scene revealed no explosive materials, and no terrorism nexus was identified. The matter has been turned over to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a traffic investigation.”

Many aspects of the incident remained ambiguous, raising concerns on both sides of the border as the U.S. approached the Thanksgiving holiday.

Shortly after the crash, both U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received briefings. Trudeau, taking the matter seriously, even excused himself from the Question Period in the House of Commons to obtain additional information.

Several hours later, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul moved to alleviate concerns. In a press conference, Hochul said, “Based on what we know at this moment. There is no sign of terrorist activity in this crash.”

Footage from a security camera released by the U.S. government depicted the vehicle speeding through a wet intersection, colliding with a low median, and soaring high into the air within a U.S. Customs and Border Protection area situated just east of the primary vehicle checkpoint. The car traveled several yards, contorting in mid-air before ultimately colliding with a row of booths.

The names of the individuals in the vehicle remain undisclosed. The two who lost their lives were a married couple, as per a source familiar with the investigation. This source spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity due to a lack of authorization to disclose information about the deceased.

Authorities indicated that the vehicle was moving at an exceptionally high speed as it neared the bridge at approximately 11:30 a.m. in downtown Niagara Falls, which encompasses hotels and a casino.

Gov. Hochul described the car as being “basically incinerated,” leaving only the engine intact. Debris was strewn across a dozen checkpoint booths. Hochul characterized the video footage of the airborne car as “absolutely surreal.”