Calling hours begin for fallen Buffalo Police diver

Oct 23, 2017

Calling hours begin Monday for Officer Craig Lehner at Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home in Hamburg.

Lehner, 34, died during a training exercise with the Buffalo Police Underwater Recovery Team in the Niagara River. When he failed to surface, more than a dozen agencies began a search, using divers, boats and aircraft. Lehner's body surfaced on the fifth day.

Police say it will take a long time before they know the circumstances surrounding his death. Also assisting in the early stages of the investigation is a division of the New York State Labor Department's Public Employee Safety and Health office, which by law gets involved with any death involving a public employee.

The event has rallied many around Western New York in support of his surviving family and law enforcement. Public buildings have been flying flags at half-staff and displaying the color blue. The students of Makowski School #99 on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo will be sharing sympathy cards with officers and the Lehner family Monday beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Calling hours at Lakeside Memorial are Monday and Tuesday from 3-8 p.m. A funeral service for Lehner will take place Wednesday at 10 a.m. at KeyBank Center, where thousands are expected to attend.