College Grad Dies After Car Plunges Into Water

Thursday, Jan 2, 2014  |  Updated 8:06 AM EDT
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Police ID man who died when he car slammed into a canal.

NBC10

Police ID man who died when he car slammed into a canal.

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A car plunged into the water near a park overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on Wednesday, killing a man out celebrating the new year.

The crash was reported at about 3:30 a.m. at the Morris Canal in Jersey City near Liberty State Park.

The New York Police Department's dive team found the body of 22-year-old Mark Puich, a recent Rutgers-Newark graduate, a short time later. His family told The Jersey Journal he had planned to meet his friends at a nearby restaurant.

"We were waiting for him to get home so we could have the New Year's champagne, but he never made it,'' Puich's 17-year-old sister, Bernadette Puich, told The Associated Press.

Jersey City police and fire department spokesman Bob McHugh told the newspaper that Puich's car drove through barricades blocking the road. A crane was used to lift the car from the water.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Puich's mother, Maria Puich, said he was "a good driver" and she "never had any problems with him in that area."

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