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Garbage can thrown from Falls parking ramp injures tourist

A garbage can tossed from an upper floor of a Niagara Falls parking garage struck and injured a 50-year-old tourist from Ohio as she was walking with her family Wednesday night, city police said.

The woman was walking behind her husband and two children on Rainbow Boulevard past the downtown parking ramp at about 10:30 p.m. when the husband heard a loud "boom," according to a police report. When he turned around, he saw his wife lying unconscious on her back with a blue plastic garbage can about 10 feet away and garbage strewn around it.

The woman was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center with severe head, neck and shoulder pain, according to the police report. She suffered a broken clavicle and a possible concussion, authorities said Thursday.

Niagara Falls Police Detective Lt. John Conti said the garbage can was about 3 1/2 feet tall but contained only papers. If it fell from the top level of the five-story ramp, the can would have dropped about 50 feet.

A pedestrian who was in the area at the time – and who works as an emergency medical technician for the New York City Fire Department – administered first aid to the woman.

The victim and her family are from Lorain, Ohio, located about 30 miles west of Cleveland.

No arrest has been made. Capt. Kelly Rizzo, chief of detectives for Falls police, said Thursday that the case is under investigation.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster ordered public works and code enforcement crews on Thursday to chain down all city-owned garbage cans so that they cannot be thrown, said Meghan Rossman-LeBlanc, administrative assistant to the mayor. She said that task has been done. The workers did not secure privately-owned garbage cans.

This is the latest black eye for Niagara Falls tourism, following on the heels of the discharge of black sewage into the Niagara River just below the falls and the Wednesday night discovery of a body in the truck of an Ohio man's car in a downtown parking lot.

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