Rescue crews fish car out of river, charge man with DWI

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — A car stranded in the Niagara river sparked a rescue operation Monday night at about 5:30 p.m., but it ended in handcuffs.

Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies wound up arresting a 44-year-old Jeff Silverthorn, an Orchard Park resident, who was trapped in his car after he veered off the road near Ransom and East River Roads. Sheriff’s officials investigated the scene, which led to his car being partially submerged in water. They learned he was allegedly drunk and charged with driving while intoxicated, refusing a breathalyzer test along with a host of other traffic violations.

Grand Island Fire Department responded first to the scene of a car which was stranded in the river at least 100 feet from shore in the Niagara River. Grand Island Fire Company officials say they guided him to shore after he got out of his car and found himself stuck in three feet of water.

The sole man inside the car was rescued and a boat towed the car out of the water. New York State Troopers in Clarence sent troopers to assist, and Tonawanda Fire Department aided with a rescue boat.

The man suffered no injuries of note, but he was treated for hypothermia and was checked up at ECMC. He’s currently in police custody. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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