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2 Men Rescued after Car Sank in Schuylkill River Near Boathouse Row

Posted on Apr 20, 2011

April 18, 2011 - Philadelphia, Penn. - On Thursday, April 7, two men were rescued by passersby after their car sank in the Schuylkill River near Boathouse Row, according to a report at Philly.com. Apparently, the car, a Toyota sedan, spun out of control and ran backwards into the river.

One of the passersby, 32-year-old Christopher DeFelice, recalled hearing one of the victims shout, "We can't swim!"

Medics arrived and transported both occupants of the car to a hospital for examination. Neither man appeared to have suffered serious injuries.

DeFelice said he had been rowing that morning and was nearly 10 yards offshore when he heard tires screeching and a loud pop. He looked around and saw the car tumble into the river.

When the car began to sink and the victim shouted that they couldn't swim, DeFelice rushed to lend a hand. He grabbed one man and as he tried to grab the other, a bicyclist jumped into the river to help.

The bicyclist, Alan O'Connor, just happened to be a former lifeguard and competitive swimmer. One witness said a police officer who was on land was trying to reach one of the men with a stick. When the man failed to grab the stick, O'Connor jumped in.

DeFelice and several witnesses said it took only seconds for the car to sink. Similar accidents have occurred in the area, which is upriver from the Viking statue on Kelly Drive.

As a service to the residents of Pennsylvania and surrounding areas, our firm will frequently publish blogs about local traffic accidents. We do this to raise awareness about the common types of motor vehicle accidents that occur in Pennsylvania that may result in serious injury or traffic fatalities.

Common accidents include, but are not limited to:

  • single-vehicle accidents;
  • accidents caused by hazardous road conditions; and
  • accidents caused by aggressive driving or distracted drivers. 

If you have been named in this blog or you are the victim's family member or friend and would like the blog posting removed from our website, please feel free to contact us and we will promptly accommodate your request.

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