A man is dead and a police officer injured after they tumbled over a cliff and into the Niagara Gorge during a police chase gone wrong in Niagara Falls Tuesday evening.
The Special Investigations Unit is investigating the circumstances surrounding the man’s death. Firefighters rappelled down the steep gorge and retrieved his body using a human-sized basket just before 9 p.m.
The police officer was lifted to safety around 7:30 p.m. He suffered a broken femur, the SIU said.
Niagara Regional Police say the pair fell into the gorge, which is more than 30 metres deep, around 5:30 p.m. The officer had been chasing the suspect when the two men fell.
Callers alerted police to the incident, Const. Derek Watson from Niagara police said, but he would not say why the officer was pursuing the suspect.
Logan Tremblay called police around 5:30 p.m. after he saw a young man running through the bushes in his front yard on River Rd. Tremblay said he saw the officer pursuing him in a cruiser before getting out and chasing him on foot.
“Before the cop could get him the kid went over the rail and over the gorge. He jumped in after him,” said Tremblay.
It is unclear if the pair fell into the foliage or the rushing water at the bottom of the gorge, but Tremblay said they’ll be lucky if they hit a ledge during the fall.
“If you hit the ledge, you’ll be OK. If you don’t, you’re in trouble.”
The Special Investigations Unit, which probes serious incidents involving police, was called in to investigate.
An autopsy will be performed on Wednesday, Monica Hudon from the SIU confirmed.
The two men went over the gorge’s retaining wall on River Rd. between Eastwood and Otter Sts.