Troubling new theory emerges in $300K Bentley that crashed and exploded on Rainbow Bridge
Investigators believe that the $300,000 Bentley that was crashed at a Niagara Falls border checkpoint exploding in a fireball that caused major panic and killed the wealthy New York couple inside may have suffered mechanical failure, according to the local mayor.
The FBI confirmed within hours of Wednesday’s fiery crash at the Rainbow Bridge that it had wrapped its own investigation after finding “no explosive material, and no terrorism nexus.”
The case is now a “traffic investigation” by the Niagara Falls Police Department who believe it was likely either the driver suffering a medical incident or the car malfunctioning, sources told The Buffalo News.
The husband and wife in the car were identified by police as Kurt Villani and his wife Monica, both 53, who were on their way to see KISS in concert in Toronto, a gig that was canceled when frontman Paul Stanley came down with the flu.
The mayor of Niagra Falls, Robert Restaino, also told the New York Times that investigators are eyeing a possible mechanical failure that caused it to accelerate to at least 100 mph before flying over a fence and crashing into a border crossing booth. 5 The couple inside the vehicle, both of whom were in their 50s and owned several businesses in Western New York, were killed upon impact.via REUTERS 5 Dramatic video posted online showed the $300,000 vehicle going airborne.AP
Restaino suggested that it was an older model car. However, police told The Buffalo News that it was a 2022 Bentley sedan, which has been valued at around $300,000.
Erin Bronner, a spokeswoman for the American arm of Bentley Motors, told the Times authorities have not yet contacted the automaker about the incident.
Niagara Police Department Superintendent John Faso also cautioned that Due to the complexity of the incident, the investigation will take some time to complete. 5 The vehicle crashed into a border patrol booth and burst into flames.via REUTERS
The departments Crash Management Unit spent Thanksgiving Day trying to reconstruct what happened prior to the previous day’s crash, which eyewitnesses mistook for a plane because of how high the Bentley soared.
The couple stopped briefly at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino which confirmed it is helping investigators before the crash about a mile away.
The Villanis owned several businesses in Western New York, including the family business Gui’s Lumber near where they lived in the small upstate community of Grand Island. 5 The Niagara Falls Police Department’s Crash Management Unit has taken over the investigation.Robert Bennett
They were both members of the Niagara Sailing Club on Grand Island, and were prominent members of the community, the clubs treasurer, Scott Henderson, told WGRV.
Not only were people talking, but then I made an announcement and some people were just incredibly shocked, he said.
Its just not only a younger couple like that, but so ingrained and influential in this community.” 5 A map showing the distance of the Bentley vehicle from the Rainbow Bridge and US Customs.
The victims friend Chuck Meyer also described the couple as good neighbors and kind friends.
Its really shock and devastation, and its gut-wrenching, really, Meyer said of his reaction to the news. They were so loved.
They were so generous and kind and always willing to help, he said. You know, just plowing everybodys driveway for the love of it, you know what I mean? Just always willing to help lend a hand. Always, always, always.
They were just so very kind, wonderful people.
With Post wires.