The dramatic rescue attempt happened on the American side of the falls.
Niagara Falls visitors stumbled upon a terrifying scene on the U.S. side of the landmark on Wednesday, after a car went into the river and got stuck in the rushing rapids just before the drop.
New York State Police confirmed to Narcity that there was a vehicle in the water near Niagara Falls on Wednesday afternoon.
The U.S. Coast Guard sent a helicopter and tried to save the driver in a dramatic rescue effort, but she did not survive.
Buffalo News reporter Stephen T. Watson documented the terrifying ordeal in a now-viral Twitter thread, which shows the car stranded and nearly submerged just a few dozen feet away from the edge.
“A car is in the Niagara River near the brink of the falls,” he tweeted at the beginning of the thread.
Waiting at a scary scene at the American Falls. A car is in the Niagara River near the brink of the falls. No official word yet but it is believed to be occupied. Unclear how it ended up in the water. (See it in the center of photo just above firefighter helmets.)pic.twitter.com/XkXTvxvlWq— Stephen T Watson \ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89 (@Stephen T Watson \ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89) 1638989607
His photos and videos show choppy water rolling over and rocking the car near the edge of the falls, and only the very top parts of the vehicle's interior are visible.
The helicopter eventually shows up, and a rescuer drops down on a rope to get to the person inside.
pic.twitter.com/cWsTyvoOAE— Stephen T Watson \ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89 (@Stephen T Watson \ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc89) 1638989919
The rescuer ultimately manages to get the driver out of the car and the helicopter carries them both away.
The driver, a local woman in her 60s, was pronounced dead, New York State Park Police Cpt. Christopher Rola told local station WIVB.
She has not been identified.
"We have never had a vehicle in the water this close," Rola said.
Rola said that police were notified of the car in the water just before noon. Police are still investigating the incident.
New York State Park Police said Thursday that driving into the water appeared to be "an intentional act." They added in a news release that the car was still stuck on Thursday morning.
Officials are reportedly trying to find a way to remove it without sending it over the edge.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
This is a developing story. Check back for more details.