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The Telegram
  • Woman drives car into Ilion Marina; charged with DWI

  • An Ilion woman was charged with drunken driving and may face additional charges after she drove her car into the Ilion Marina Saturday evening.



    Mary Ellen M. Dibrango, 53, of 30 E. River St., Ilion, managed to climb out of the car through an open window as it began to sink and was helped to safety.

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  • An Ilion woman was charged with drunken driving and may face additional charges after she drove her car into the Ilion Marina Saturday evening.
    Mary Ellen M. Dibrango, 53, of 30 E. River St., Ilion, managed to climb out of the car through an open window as it began to sink and was helped to safety, but crews from multiple emergency response agencies responded to the scene when Dibrango asked where her grandchildren were.
    Dibrango was placed in an ambulance and transported to St. Luke’s Hospital for evaluation. While authorities located Dibrango’s grandchildren safe at home, they could not confirm whether or not there were any additional occupants in the submerged motor vehicle. The Ilion Marina remained closed until 1 a.m. while members from the St. Johnsville Fire Department Water Search and Rescue Team and the Ilion Fire Department attempted to locate and remove the car from the Erie Canal. Poor visibility hampered efforts as divers tried to locate and remove the vehicle from the canal.
    After the vehicle was located and removed from the canal, it was confirmed that there were no additional occupants in the car.
    The Ilion police and fire departments responded to the Ilion Marina at about 7:23 p.m. June 29 when they were notified that a motor vehicle had been driven into the canal at the boat launch. The strong current immediately began carrying the vehicle east toward a nearby dock where pontoon boats were tied off. As the vehicle began filling with water, Dibrango exited through an open window. Bystanders and Trooper Ted Fournier helped her to one of the docked pontoon boats.
    After Dibrango was evaluated and released from the hospital, she was taken into custody by Ilion Police and charged with driving while intoxicated and refusing to take a breath-screening test. She was arraigned before Village Justice Stephen Canipe and released to a family member.
    In addition to Ilion police and fire crews, the town of Frankfort Police Department, District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter and Assistant District Attorney Robert McGraw and Herkimer County Sheriff Christopher Farber responded to the scene. Ilion Dock Master Don Sterling provided assistance due to the number of large boats and campers at the marina. The Frankfort Volunteer Fire Department provided station coverage while the Ilion Fire Department was at the marina.
    Ilion police are continuing their investigation and said additional charges may be filed. Police are also seeking additional witnesses to the incident. Anyone who saw what happened is asked to call the Ilion Police Department at (315) 894-9911.
    Compiled From Staff Reports

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