Ithaca’s “Six Mile Creek” was the site of two separate fatal incidents on Saturday (September 21).
Police were first called to an area near the Ithaca Agway, after kayakers in the area reportedly discovered a female body floating in the waterway behind the railroad bridge off of Fulton Street.
The victim was later identified as 31-year-old Wendi Owens, of Enfield, and the circumstances around her death are now under investigation.
Anyone with information regarding her death is asked to contact the Ithaca Police Department Investigation Division at 607-272-9973.
Assisting in the investigation was the New York State Police Forensic Identification Unit.
A short time later, just before 7 p.m., Ithaca Police and Fire crews were called back to an area of the creek near South Fulton and West Clinton Streets, where a car had crashed into the water and landed on its roof.
Witnesses reported seeing a heroic bystander in the water desperately trying to hold the driver’s head above water, while rescue crews forced the vehicle’s door open with the help of an Ithaca Firefighter.
The driver was eventually dislodged from the vehicle and rushed to Cayuga Medical Center, but unfortunately pronounced dead after resuscitative measures failed.
Police have not yet released a victim ID, but did another passenger was found in the vehicle, uninjured.
During a final sweep of the vehicle, they also found a dog in the back seat, struggling to breath.
Once it was extricated and helped up the embankment, the frightened dog ran southward on Meadow Street and has not been located.
She’s described as a mixed breed female that goes by “Annie,” small to medium in size, with light brown or buff colored fur. She was also wearing a soft adjustable collar with unknown tags.
If you should see Annie, please call Tompkins County Animal Control at (607) 257-1822.
Police are now investigating the cause of the crash.
Critical assistance was also provided by the Tompkins Sheriff’s Office, State Police and the dispatchers at the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response.