Schenectady County

UPDATE: Waterford woman dies when car sinks in Mohawk

An elderly woman was pulled dead from the Mohawk River in the Stockade neighborhood Saturday night a

Schenectady police today identified the woman who drowned in her car in the Mohawk River off North Ferry Street as Mary B. Conroy, 84, of Waterford.

The woman’s body was pulled from the river in the Stockade district Saturday night after her car slid into the water.

Police were searching for her after receiving a 911 call, which was broken off.

Sgt. Matthew Dearing of the Schenectady Police Department said police received a brief distress call from the woman about 7:55 p.m. After telling police she needed help, however, the line went dead before the dispatcher could obtain details. The call did last long enough for police to track the caller’s location to the vicinity of North Ferry.

At least two officers were dispatched to search for the woman, and they found her car on rocks at the edge of the water off North Ferry. As officers approached the ledge, Dearing said they saw the car roll into the water.

The officers could see that the woman was still in the car, but they could not tell if she was conscious when she went into the water. Dearing said he did not know what efforts the officers made to reach the car as it sank.

About 10 p.m., with fire engines, police cars, a helicopter and two boats on site, the woman’s body was pulled from the river and removed from the scene. A handful of divers participated in the search, struggling to find the vehicle in the darkness and strong current.

The scene attracted at least 30 onlookers from the neighborhood, many of whom had heard the initial police search.

George Soltysiak of North Ferry Street was sleeping when he heard the search begin. By the time he made it to the scene, he said the brake lights on the car were visible about a foot under water. He said it took less than a minute for the car to go out of sight beneath the water.

He said he had heard one car’s siren drive by, followed later by another siren, which made him think there had been a chase.

Schenectady and Niskayuna firefighters, Schenectady police and Mohawk Ambulance crews were called to the accident scene.

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