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Clarence man identified as Niagara River victim

Police have identified the man who drowned Friday night in the Niagara River near Buckhorn State Park as Rajesh Chopra of Clarence.

Chopra had been swimming with friends in the Niagara River near Grass Island at the south end of Buckhorn State Park at about 8:30 p.m., when he ended up in deep water and was swept downriver, said Detective Sgt. Brian Nisbet of State Park Police.

Friends saw Chopra struggling to stay afloat but were unable to get to him before he disappeared beneath the surface of water.

Chopra’s body was found about 100 feet north of Grass Island about 11:30 p.m. Friday.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office Dive team recovered the body, which was taken to the Erie County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Grass Island is an area where boats frequently anchor in a sandy, shallow area.

The Grand Island Fire Department also assisted.


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