Police identify victim of fatal Tonawanda marina accident

tonnawanda marina crane accidennt

The Town of Tonawanda Police Department is investigating an incident after National Grid says one person was found dead at Mid River Marina on Wednesday (3rd August 2022).

National Grid received a call around 3:30 p.m. to de-energize down wires. When they arrived they found a person dead inside a crane.

Town of Tonawanda police on Wednesday identified the man who was electrocuted while operating a crane.

Police say James M. Bognar Sr., 73, was behind the controls of a boat hoist on the afternoon of Aug. 3 at Mid-River Marina, 3670 River Road, near Sawyer Avenue, when the machine apparently made contact with high voltage wires. He didn’t show any signs of life when officers arrived at the marina, Police Capt. Joseph Milosich said.

“This appears to be an industrial accident,” Milosich said in an email.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said last week that its Buffalo office is investigating the fatal accident to determine if there were any violations of workplace safety standards in the incident. The probe could take up to six months.

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Online records and Buffalo News archives show Bognar, who went by Michael, and his wife, Kerin, had owned and operated the former Placid Harbor I marina since buying the business in 1986. Their three children also had worked at the marina, which expanded significantly over the years.

Bognar family members declined to speak to a News reporter at Mid-River Marina following the accident.

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