New York police have identified the victims of the explosive car crash Wednesday at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing between the United States and Canada.
Kurt P. Villani, 53, and Monica Villani, 53, of Grand Island, New York, died when their vehicle crashed into a median at the border crossing, the Niagara Falls Police Department (NFPD) said in a Friday press release.
“The City of Niagara Falls would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families as they deal with this tragedy,” NFPD said in a statement.
The NFPD Crash Management Unit is currently investigating the incident.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the incident happened at 11:27 a.m. Wednesday, and there was “no sign” that the incident was a terrorist attack, adding that a “local individual” was involved and both people inside the car died.
“There is no evidence at this time that this was a terrorist activity. And that’s what I want to make very clear to the public,” Hochul said.
The international border crossing points between Canada and Western New York were closed after the reported incident, which also left at least one person, a 27-year-old male, with minor injuries. Authorities transported him to a nearby hospital.
“If the car has a half tank, a full tank of gas at 100 miles an hour, when it hits cement, that vehicle is going to explode,” Michael Verden, a former Secret Service agent and founder of security consulting agency The Lake Forest Group, told Fox News Digital. “It’s going to explode like a bomb. … There’s rationale behind the vehicle exploding is my point.”
Verden added that investigators likely looked at cell phone data pinging in the area during the time of the crash to help them identify the victims.
“There’s a lot of information because of where they were. They’re going through a border crossing. So it’s not like just some random surface street. This is the main thoroughfare. So there’s going to be a lot of information,” Verden said.
Niagara Falls police told WGRZ that their investigation into the exact cause of the crash will likely be a complicated one.