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Police: Woman dead after van crashes into Buffalo monument

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A woman was killed in a Thanksgiving Day crash after a speeding minivan plowed into the McKinley Monument in downtown Buffalo, police said.

The unidentified male driver was in critical condition after the crash, which happened before 7:30 a.m. Thursday. The female passenger, whose name also was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Buffalo police Capt. Jeff Rinaldo told reporters the vehicle had reached an “extreme rate of speed” before crashing into the marble obelisk in front of Buffalo City Hall.

“This is a first, to see a vehicle that went that far and that airborne,” Rinaldo said. Police have opened a criminal investigation “to determine exactly what happened,” he said.

The Buffalo News reported the Toyota Sienna crashed through two marble posts ringing the site, then struck the 96-foot-tall (29-meter-tall) monument honoring President William McKinley, who was assassinated on a 1901 visit to the city in western New York.

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