Flash flooding in Herkimer County has claimed the life of a Diocese of Albany priest.

The victim was identified by the Diocese, and then by State Police, as Father Thomas Connery, 82, of Glenville.

Police say they responded around 10:10 p.m. to a call. Connery was spotted by a witness on Factory Brook, alongside Military Road in the town of Norway. The witness says Connery's car struggled to drive past the high floodwaters before getting stuck due to ditches on the roadway.

Police say the road surface at the shoulder collapsed and Connery's vehicle could not move further, with its driver's side wheels on the pavement and passenger side in a ravine. The witness, police say, did try to help Connery, but Connery was washed downstream.

After the floodwaters receded Friday, the NYSP Underwater Recovery Team conducted a search in the area and found Connery's body about a quarter-mile downstream.

In a statement Friday on The Evangelist, Connery was said to have been en route to mass for the people of Herkimer and Newport. Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger issued a statement on his passing.

"We are so saddened to learn of Father Thomas Connery’s tragic death, but we know he died as he lived — serving the people of God without fear or concern for himself," Scharfenberger said. "May he rest in peace, and may his family be comforted by the faith that served as Father Connery’s strength and foundation throughout his life of ministry."

Scharfenberger described Connery as a "devoted" priest with 56 years of service. Weeks ago, Connery accepted his new assignment as a sacramental minister for St. Anthony and Joseph Church in Herkimer, and St. John the Baptist in Newport, according to Scharfenberger.