Body found in river likely is that of teen driver

News Staff Reporters

NIAGARA FALLS - State Park Police on Saturday recovered the badly decomposed body of a young man believed to be a Grand Island teenager who was killed two months ago when his speeding car plunged into the Niagara River.

Niagara County Coroner James M. Joyce said he will wait until an autopsy is done Monday before making a final identification, but he said investigators are virtually certain they have recovered the body of Travis Hennigar, 19.

Joyce said the clothes on the victim match the attire that Hennigar was wearing at the time of the Feb. 10 crash. Recovery crews also found Hennigar's driver's license and other forms of identification on the body.

It took the Swift Water Rescue Team about three hours to recover the body from the treacherous rapids near the Goat Island Pedestrian Bridge. Tourists spotted the body at about 11:45 a.m. It was caught on a log between Goat and Green islands, Sgt. Brian Nisbet said.

Hennigar, an Erie Community College student, was driving home his friend Jeffrey Critelli, 18, a University at Buffalo student, when the crash occurred. Critelli, also of Grand Island, escaped after the car veered off West River Parkway near Bedell Road and crashed into the river.