NY man and woman identified as couple in car that crashed into border office, causing Rainbow Bridge explosion

The husband and wife were reportedly on their way to a KISS concert in Toronto, Canada.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
The occupants of a car that drove over 100mph into a US/Canada border crossing causing an explosion at Rainbow Bridge has been identified as Kurt and Monica Villani of Grand Island, New York.

The husband and wife were reportedly on their way to a KISS concert in Toronto, Canada, when the Bentley had launched into the air and caused a fiery explosion upon landing, killing both on impact.

The crash had initially sparked fears of a terrorist attack causing all border crossings to temporarily shut down before New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that those claims, which were first reported by Fox News, were unfounded.

The Daily Mail reports that friends of Kurt Villani said that he had complained about issues with the vehicle's acceleration just weeks before the accident. Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said that among the possibilities investigators are looking into is that of mechanical failure, per the New York Times.

Surveillance video shows the Bentley cruising down the road at excessively high speed before going airborne. It launched into the air as if it were in a scene of an action movie before landing. The impact caused a fiery explosion with vehicle debris flying everywhere.

Kurt and Monica Villani are survived by their two children and were known for being exceptional members of their community. They married in the spring of 1995. Their son, Kurt Jr., 26, was a youth hockey prodigy and played for the Buffalo Sabres organization, according to the outlet.

In 2014, Kurt and his son were featured in local news outlets for gifting 250 turkeys to the less fortunate on Thanksgiving, which was a tradition started by Kurt's father.

Members of the Grand Island community gathered to pay tribute to the Villanis following their tragic death.

Resident Mary Meyer said that the community could always count on the Villani's for help, describing the couple as generous and thoughtful.

"You know, just plowing everybody's driveway for the love of it, you know what I mean? Just always willing to help and lend a hand. Always. always, always. They were just so very, kind wonderful people," Meyer said.

Another resident, Chuck Meyer, told the outlet: "Without ever being asked, they would just be giving and gifting, and that's the type of people we lost."

The Villani family operates Gui Lumber which has seven sites and was established in 1986.
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