A Pennsylvania police chief says a pregnant woman and her nine-year-old son were found dead in a car that was swept away by flood water.
Douglass Township police commander John Dzurek explained how the car was swept across Manatawny Creek for about half a mile on Thursday evening while the woman was on the phone with auxiliary officers. The call then disappeared.
The woman, identified as 31-year-old Pam Vera Snyder, along with her son, Preston, told the authorities that the water was rushing into her Mazda 3 vehicle and the couple was unable to escape.
Pam Vera Snyder, 31, and her nine-year-old son Preston were found dead after their car was washed away by sudden floods
Family friends and relatives were seen in the hands of a bridge near where the tragedy took place on Thursday evening
The mother and her son were stuck in their cars when sudden floods hit the region
The water came without warning. Snyder was on the phone for 45 minutes with the shipment
The woman was on the phone for 49 minutes while the rescue operations were underway, but the rising water even prevented the crew from reaching the mother and son.
Emergency services say the woman was stuck under a railway bridge and told a dispatcher that she and her son were stuck in the car with water flowing in.
Her phone was pinged to determine her exact location. Operators were on the phone with her for about 45 minutes to calm her down.
Firefighters and a rescue team in water could not reach the stranded vehicle.
Rescue teams worked long into the night as they searched for the mother and son's car
Flattened bushes on a river show where the car passed and brushed along everything in its path
Numerous flooded roads made it impossible for emergency services to reach the scene.
A fireman was brought in contact with the expectant mother and was able to stay on the phone with her for a few minutes before they lost contact.
After almost five hours of searching, rescuers found their bodies in the car in a tributary. The coroner's corpse was called up shortly afterwards.
Early on Friday morning the crews were still on the scene to repair the vehicle that had remained in the water.
Berks County saw a few centimeters of rain on Thursday, causing creeks to flood and roadways to stand still for hours.
The crews were still busy cleaning up on Friday morning
There was a rescue team on site but they were too late to save the lives of the mother and son
Rescuers in the township said it was one of the worst days they could remember in a while
& # 39; As I drove through the water myself, I felt my SUV, which is quite high and wants to float away, & # 39; said Dzurek. & # 39; I could get off a small dirt road, look down, and I could see nothing, spinning around, and jerking through it again before I became part of it. & # 39;
Snyder and her son were declared dead on the spot by delegates from the coroner's office in Berks County.
Snyder was seven months pregnant. She was also planning to get married in September.
She was on her way home to Boyertown when she was caught by the flash flood.
Fire & Rescue worked with River Rescue teams while they worked to restore the bodies
Locals were stunned by the events of the evening after what happened in their township
Family and members of the community said that Snyder was loved and will be greatly missed.
& # 39; They said she was just a wonderful, fantastic person, just a wonderful sister and daughter and fiancé, & # 39; said Boyertown Salvation Army Lt. Joseph Smith against NBC 10. & # 39; She was just loved. & # 39;
& # 39; Just about every lane in this township was under water, so people got that far and turned around, & # 39; said Dzurek. & # 39; Almost every road in this township has trees, has been destroyed or was under water. & # 39;
Only around 9.45 pm did a search party in a boat find the missing car.
The crews could look through the sliding roof in the car and found the two victims inside.
Family members then arrived at the place where they embraced and started crying on the bridge.
Chief Deputy Coroner Jonn M. Hollenbach said on Friday morning until The Mercury that autopsies are not performed because all evidence indicates that they have drowned.
& # 39; Hard evening for a local family and a few local first responders tonight in Douglass, & # 39; wrote the office of the Douglass Township Constable on Facebook.
& # 39; The tragedy started and the anger of Mother Nature took away an expectant mother and a child far too early. & # 39;
Local residents in the area know how to capture the flood on their mobile cameras
The flood of water lasted several hours and changed roads into rivers
A number of other vehicles were washed away, but their passengers managed to escape from injuries
& # 39; Everyone kept everyone informed of what was going on and what the next step would be, & # 39; said Dzurek. & # 39; I use the word & # 39; stressful because Officer Micah Long and I were the only two to begin with, and the congregation fell apart. Cars in the water here, cars in the water there, trees below, people are trapped between two flood areas and cannot go anywhere. & # 39;
& # 39; It came up fairly quickly and I heard that there was a woman stuck in a car with a baby, & # 39; Phil Abbott, who lives in the area, said against ABC news.
& # 39; It was on the road and was covered here. … The men went to my shed and they said there was a woman stuck in a car with a baby. They didn't know for sure if she was on the corner or where she was. & # 39;
Douglass Township is located northwest of Philadelphia, about 20 miles east of Reading.
The National Weather Service had previously issued a flashlight emergency for parts of eastern Pennsylvania after more than 6 inches of rain had been dumped in the area, roads flooded, and motorists were left in cars.
Officials urged residents to move up and described it as & # 39; an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation & # 39 ;.
The Reading Eagle says that someone had to be rescued from the second floor of a house, and a number of disabled cars were stranded on roads with drivers in need of rescue.
In North Huntingdon a sinkhole opened up behind a daycare center.
People drove in the wrong direction on an exit because a part of Route 28 was closed.
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