A man died at the hospital after his SUV crashed into the Delaware River on Monday. According to police, he was already involved in a hit-and-run prior to the fatal accident.
Investigators say the man struck two parked cars at 4th and Arch Streets but fled the scene. Witnesses say he was speeding on the Chestnut Street underpass at Penn's Landing when he drove up a grassy incline, crashed through a metal fence and landed in the Delaware River.
"I just saw him flying through the air," said Marc Didonato. "And it went straight into the water."
Two witnesses jumped into the water to try and pull the driver out after the SUV flipped upside down in the river.
"They were in the water when I arrived,' said Philadelphia Fire Chief Robert Clark. "One of them had his hand but they couldn't get him out. That's when our resources arrived and we took over at that point."
Rescue crews pulled the unconscious man out of the water and rushed him to Jefferson University Hospital. He was later pronounced dead.
No one else was injured during the two accidents, though witnesses say it was a close call.
"There could've been civilians walking along the path," said Jesse Shemesh. "It could've been a lot worse than it was."
Police continue to investigate the accident. They have not yet revealed the victim's identity but say he is a 25-year-old man from South Philadelphia.