Buffalo, NY Auto Plunges Into River, Sep 1963


Buffalo, N.Y. (UPI) - Seven youths were killed Sunday night when their speeding automobile failed to make a sharp curve on a park road and plunged into 20 feet of water in a channel of the Niagara River.
Six of the victims were found Sunday night when the vehicle was dragged from the channel by a fire department tow truck. A seventh was recovered from the channel early today by police and Coast Guard skin divers.
The seventh youth was identified as JOHN SABADASE, 18. His body was found about 50 feet from the point where the car was discovered.
The Rev. Paul Lillis, pastor at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, which the victims attended, said, "they were all active and likeable young men."
"They participated in many of the youth social and athletic activities at the parish. They were a nice bunch of boys."
The other victims were identified at the Erie County morgue as THOMAS CLIFFORD, 18, believed to have been the driver of the car; THOMAS LUCENTI, 19; DANIEL GORSKI, 17; ROBERT ZINTO, 17; RICHARD ZAWISTOWSKI, 16; and JOHN HRYHOROIC, 16. All were from Buffalo and attended vocational high schools in the city.
An eyewitness to the accident, Edward Weber, 25, said the car was traveling at high speed when it missed the turn.
The auto ripped a 20-foot-wide hole in a wire mesh fence bordering the river channel, sped over a concrete wall rising 10-feet from the water's edge and landed about 40 feet out in the channel. There, police said, it flipped over and settled in the water on its roof.
When police arrived at the scene, the car lights still were on and were visible in the water. A Coast Guard vessel lowered two civilian skin divers into the cold water to attach tow cables, and the auto was dragged ashore with the bodies still inside about 40 minutes after the crash.

New Castle News Pennsylvania 1963-09-30