Berks

Pregnant mom, child die after car swept away by floodwaters

DOUGLASS TWP., Pa. - The flash flooding that plagued parts of the area Thursday resulted in tragedy in Berks County.

A pregnant woman and her 8-year-old son died after their car was swept down a rain-swollen creek and rescue crews couldn't get to them.

Police said the woman, who was in her 30s and eight months pregnant, did not drive into high water, and did everything one should do in flooding situations.

Emergency crews were dispatched to Pine Forge Road near the Colebrookdale Railroad overpass around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

"A female reported to be stuck in her vehicle in high waters with her son, and they were not able to get out, and the water was starting to come into the vehicle," said Chief John Dzurek, Douglass Township Police Department.

Their car was swept off the road and into the Manatawny Creek.

The woman was on the phone with emergency personnel for nearly 45 minutes, but she was suddenly disconnected. When rescue crews tried calling back, it went to her voicemail.

Multiple crews tried to rescue the pair, but they were met with the same difficulties.

"Officers attempted to gain access to the female in the vehicle, but unfortunately met the same dangers of the high rising waters and current, and we were unable to get close enough to see the vehicle," Dzurek said.

Water rescue teams spent hours searching for the car in the flooded creek. The woman and boy were found dead inside the car around 9:45 p.m., a half-mile down the creek from where they were at the time of the initial 911 call.

"This was apparently not her normal route going home, but unfortunately, like every other traveler in the township at the time, was running into these road blocks, flooded roadways, trees down, on just about every road," Dzurek said.

Authorities have not released the victims' names, but a woman posted on Facebook that they were her pregnant daughter-in-law, Pamela Vera, and her grandson, Preston.


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