NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – An autopsy performed by the Erie County Medical Examiner’s office determined drowning was the cause of death of the woman who drove her car into the rapids at the edge of Niagara Falls last month, according to State Park Police Capt. Christopher Rola.

Officials previously said they believed the victim, a 69-year-old woman from Williamsville, intentionally drove her car into the water in a suicide attempt. Her name has not been released.

Although the woman was alive when she entered the water, officials believed she died before Coast Guard divers could get to her. Video of their stunning recovery at the brink of the Falls gained international attention.

The car that was driven into the water remained lodged at the brink of the American Falls in the days after the incident, but appeared to have been pushed over the edge in a storm the following weekend.

The Buffalo News first reported details of the autopsy.

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If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, help is available. Erie County’s Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day: 716-834-3131. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24 hours a day: 1-800-273-8255. For more information, visit

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