Woman Killed After Car Plunges Into Schuylkill River

Man was able to break free from sinking car

By Danielle Johnson and Vince Lattanzio
|  Monday, Jul 29, 2013  |  Updated 4:31 PM EDT
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Her passenger, who survived, tells police the young woman swerved to avoid an oncoming car.

Her passenger, who survived, tells police the young woman swerved to avoid an oncoming car.

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A woman has died and a man recovering after their car plunged into the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

The four-door, dark gray Toyota sped off Kelly Drive and into the river near Boathouse Row shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday, according to Philadelphia Police. The car veered off of the drive just before a guardrail begins.

An unidentified man was able to escape the car as it sank into the rain-swollen river and swim to safety, but the 21-year-old female driver from Darby, Delaware County, Pa. remained trapped inside.

A passerby was able to call for help and emergency crews were on the scene shortly after the crash.

The Philadelphia Police Marine Unit spent hours trying to free the woman's body from the submerged car as heavy rains fell.

Around 1:30 a.m. this morning, crews were able to pull the car from the Schuylkill River and retrieve driver's body. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The man was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital for treatment.

"It's obviously a dangerous situation for the divers, but they did an admirable job gettin' in there and putting their lives on the line, and unfortunately, we weren't able to get there in time," said Philadelphia Police Lt. Scott Drissel.

Investigators say the passenger told them the woman swerved to avoid an on-coming car that crossed the center line when the car crashed into the river.

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