NBC10.com - Nefertiti Jaquez
A 73-year-old man died Tuesday when his car careened off Kelly Drive, flipped, and landed in the Schuylkill River. A Good Samaritan tried to free the driver, but couldn't. NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez talked to that Good Samaritan's family Tuesday night.
Police are investigating the death of an elderly man who drove his car off Kelly Drive and into the Schuylkill River.
Rescue crews came to the river around 12:35 p.m. after people reported seeing a red sedan go into the water.
Around 12:50 p.m., a 73-year-old man was pulled from the water. He was pronounced dead at 1:19 p.m. at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, according to a Philadelphia Police spokesman.
Police say the driver was going eastbound (towards Center City) on Kelly Drive when he cut right in front of another vehicle crossing from the left lane into the right and then up on the curb about 30 yards before Boathouse Row.
John Reynolds, a 44-year-old plumber from Havertown, saw the crash and took action. According to his wife, Reynolds grabbed a hammer and jumped into the water. He managed to smash out the rear window of the car but the vehicle was sinking quickly and he was unable to get the man out. Police divers arrived at the scene seconds later and took both Reynolds and the elderly man out of the water.
Reynolds was taken to the hospital where he was treated for cuts on his wrist, arm and chest. He was later released.
No one else was in the car, police said. Police suspect the man suffered a heart attack either before or during the crash though they have not yet confirmed this.
Kelly Drive was closed between Lemon Hill Drive and N. Brewery Hill Drive for a few hours but later reopened.
The area where the car went into the water is where the Kelly Drive turns at the far end of Boathouse Row.
This is not the first time a car has careened into this part of the river. In 2011, two people were pulled from the Schuylkill by a Good Samaritan after the driver lost control and landed into the river.