Southeastern PA

Man fleeing police plunges to death after falling from unfinished bridge

Scott Fitzpatrick of Norristown was found 24 hours later.

Man fell to death running from police

LOWER POTTSGROVE TWP., Pa. - A man who ran away from police following a car accident plunged to his death while trying to get across a bridge under construction in Montgomery County, according to officials.

Police say 42-year-old Scott Fitzpatrick fell to his death after running away from the scene of a car accident late Friday night on Route 422 in North Coventry, Chester County, but his body was not found until about 24 hours later.

Police responded to the crash near the 724 exit ramp around midnight Friday.

But when officers arrived, no one was inside the wrecked SUV.

According to police, witnesses tell investigators a Jeep SUV was barreling down the highway, traveling close to 100 mph in a 40 mph construction zone.

Investigators said the car slammed into a guard rail, before ricocheting into a center barrier and spiraling 180 degrees.

Police said Fitzpatrick and his passenger took off running on the bridge the spans the Schuylkill River between Route 724 and Armand Hammer Boulevard.

When police arrived, they located the passenger on the Lower Pottsgrove Township side of the bridge. Police said the man was intoxicated and his friend, the driver, was nowhere to be found.

The next day, crews conducted a search party near the scene of the crash.

Fitzpatrick's body was found underneath the bridge.

Police said he reportedly hopped over the finished portion of the bridge onto the unfinished side.

Authories said Fitzpatrick, of Norristown, was walking or hopping over the beams that are five to six feet apart.

Somehow, he lost his footing and fell face-first onto a bedrock about 40 to 60 feet below, police said.

The manner and cause of death has not been determined, according to the Montgomery County coroner's office. A toxicology report has been ordered on Fitzpatrick's body.

The passenger was taken to the hospital for minor injuries he sustained in the crash, investigators said.

Police haven't determined why the two men went running.

The investigation is ongoing.

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