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Cheektowaga police investigate report of car submerged in pond

An elderly driver died Saturday when she suffered a medical emergency, crashed into a building in the Village of Sloan, then rebounded into a retention pond with 3 feet of water where she went unnoticed for at least four hours, police said.

The crash occurred at the industrial site of Darling Ingredients Inc., at 2000 William St., located at a T-intersection with Rossler Avenue.

Investigators believe the woman was traveling north on Rossler at a high rate of speed when her 2004 Mercury Sable went through a chain-link fence, knocked down a tall evergreen and crashed into the back of a building, blowing a 6-by-6-foot hole through its concrete wall, said Lt. Steven Berecz with the Cheektowaga Police Department.

The car then landed next to the building in a retention pond roughly 60 feet long, 20 feet wide and 12 feet deep with about 3 feet of water, Berecz said at the scene late Saturday afternoon.

Police believe the woman suffered a medical emergency and may have been dead by the time she hit the building.

“Upon locating the elderly woman, she was discovered deceased,” Berecz said. “She was also pronounced by the medical examiner.”

The victim’s name was not released Saturday, as police were still trying to reach her family.

Investigators were also trying to piece together the time of the crash.

“We did have a witness that stopped after the fact and said he noticed the chain-link fence was down at 11 a.m., but no one ever called us,” Berecz said.

Police were not called to the scene until about 3 p.m. Saturday by a person on the company grounds.

“Somebody showed up at the building, felt that there was a chill in the air, kind of walked around and found the hole in the wall,” Berecz said.

Police and firefighters from Sloan Active Hose and Southline fire companies responded to the scene.

There were no visible skid marks along Rossler and neighbors said they heard nothing out of the ordinary.

Kimberly Zymowski and her daughter, Samantha, live a block away, but didn’t hear about the crash until a friend drove by the scene and called them.

The two were among more than a dozen people who stood at the corner of William and Rossler watching the scene unfold.

“They’re trying to figure out how to pull the car out,” said Kim Zymowski.

“It’s crazy how the person went right through those trees,” added Samantha Zymowski.

Tow trucks were eventually called in to pull the car out of the retention pond.