Authorities identify husband and wife whose car exploded in Rainbow Bridge crash


(NEW YORK) — The husband and wife occupants of the car that slammed into the U.S.-Canada border crossing in a fiery explosion on the Rainbow Bridge Wednesday have now been identified.

Kurt P. Villani and his wife Monica Villani, both of Grand Island, New York, were killed in the crash, the Niagara Falls Police Department said Friday. Both were 53 years old.

“The incident is currently under investigation by the NFPD Crash Management Unit, no further details are available at this time,” the police department said in a statement.

The FBI said Wednesday night there was no nexus to terrorism and it was turning the car crash over to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a traffic investigation.

The names of Kurt and Monica Villani were released by the Niagara Falls Police Department after the Department of Homeland Security said it conducted database queries on both individuals and found no criminal history or derogatory information.

“FBI Buffalo has concluded our investigation at the scene of the Rainbow Bridge incident. A search of the scene revealed no explosive materials and no terrorism nexus was identified,” a statement from the agency read.

The agency’s conclusions echo what New York Gov. Kathy Hochul told the media: There was no evidence that the crash on the U.S. side of the Rainbow Bridge, which connects the U.S. to Canada at Niagara Falls, New York, was a terrorist attack.

She also told reporters there was no indication of any explosives at the scene.

The incident unfolded on Wednesday when a vehicle slammed into a border checkpoint booth on the U.S. side of the bridge, went airborne and exploded, Hochul said.

The crash prompted an increase in security on both sides of the border crossing and briefly shut down international arrivals and departures at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and other border crossings in the area. A bomb squad also responded to the crash to investigate and clear a suitcase or briefcase at the scene, sources told ABC News.

The Rainbow Bridge was reopened to traffic on Thursday evening. The Peace, Queenston-Lewiston and Whirlpool-Rapids were all reopened on Wednesday.

ABC News’ Quinn Owen contributed to this report.

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