Man Charged Following Car-Into-Lake Accident

CASSADAGA – A Jamestown man evaded injury last Thursday when he drove his car into Cassadaga Lake, but he did not evade the criminal justice system.

Nathan Rios, 35, of 105 Lister St., was charged with failure to keep right, speed not reasonable and prudent, and leaving the scene of a property-damage accident for the incident, which occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 24.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Cassadaga Fire Department and county Dive Team were called to the scene around 6:30 a.m. when the car was found on its roof in the water. A resident of the area saw the vehicle while he was on his morning walk and after retrieving a flashlight, saw three doors of the vehicle open and an article of clothing floating near the surface.

“We got there on scene and the car was on its roof,” said Tim Cobb Jr., Cassadaga Fire first assistant chief. “Our crew … got into our wetsuits and we did a search and we couldn’t find anything.”

An investigation revealed that Rios was operating his vehicle on Dale Drive when he swerved to miss a deer. Rios and his passenger, 35-year-old Joseph Bowers of 22 Mosher St., Falconer, did not report the accident, but instead called a friend, who took them home.

Rios will appear in Town of Stockton Court to answer the charges at a later date.