Share this article

print logo

Driver charged with DWI after crashing into river

A man who crashed an SUV into the Niagara River off Grand Island Monday afternoon was charged with driving while intoxicated, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The driver, Jeff Silverthorn, 44, of Orchard Park was also cited for multiple traffic violations.

The SUV, a black Chevy Equinox, went into the water off of East River Road near Ransom Road at about 5:30 p.m.

Grand Island Fire Company officials said the vehicle landed about 100 feet out into the Niagara River.

Silverthorn was able to get out of the car himself and was found in about three feet of water. Firefighters helped him to shore. He was treated by fire company medics for hypothermia and was taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center for further treatment.

Sheriff’s officials said the driver was uncooperative and refused to submit to a breath test to determine his blood alcohol content level.