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Ferry owner hospitalized after van rolls into river

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CAPE VINCENT — Rescue units were sent at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday to Anchor Marina after a minivan rolled off Horne’s Ferry while the craft was under way on the St. Lawrence River en route to Wolfe Island, Ontario.

There was initial concern about whether the van was occupied, but within minutes of the accident the ferry’s crew determined the would-be occupants were safely aboard the ferry.

While the ferry was towing the van to Anchor Marina, at 583 Broadway, George D. Horne, one of the ferry’s owners, was reported unconscious and unresponsive at the marina. He was taken to Samaritan Medical Center with a suspected heart attack, according to a state trooper.

An official at Horne’s Ferry, when contacted by telephone, declined to comment, saying, “We’re busy right now.”

According to sources, the van had been left in neutral and began to move while the ferry was crossing the river. It knocked down the raised ramp on the ferry’s side, broke through a chain and entered the water. The Horne’s Ferry crew secured a chain to the van before it submerged completely.

A boat was summoned to tow the ferry, along with the minivan, to Cape Vincent.

Officials at the scene would not identify the vehicle’s owner but confirmed the ferry’s passengers, two men and a woman, were foreigners.

Cape Vincent fire, ambulance and police personnel responded, as did the Jefferson County Special Tactics and Rescue team and state police.

According to the company’s website, the boat was scheduled to leave Cape Vincent at 2 p.m. for its 10-minute run to Wolfe Island.

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