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Driver en route to family celebration plunges into canal

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 8:48 p.m.

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — 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 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 Pych, 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,” said Pych's 17-year-old sister, Bernadette Pych.

Jersey City police and fire department spokesman Bob McHugh told the newspaper that Pych'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.

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