The two were found dead after losing contact with dispatch as rescuers worked to find them in the Manatawny Creek in Boyertown, Pennsylvania

By Char Adams
July 12, 2019 10:21 AM
A police car is parked near the site where flooding claimed the lives of a pregnant woman and her 8-year-old son whose car was swept away on Thursday
Michael Yoder/Reading Eagle via AP

A pregnant woman and her 8-year-old son were found dead in their flooded vehicle late Thursday after the car was swept down a swollen Pennsylvania creek during severe flash flooding, authorities say.

The car moved about a half-mile down Manatawny Creek in Boyertown as the woman spoke with rescue officials over the phone, according to the Associated Press. The call dropped and emergency officials found the pair dead in the car about five hours later.

“Tragedy struck and Mother Nature’s fury took away an expecting mother and child far too soon,” the Douglass Township Constable Office wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday night. “Hug your family, hug your kids, be thankful for your life and all you have.”

Neither the Douglass Township Constable Office nor the Douglass Township Police Department immediately responded to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

The unidentified woman, believed to be in her 30s, called police around 4:30 p.m. to report that she and her son were trapped in the vehicle, according to WPVI. She remained on the phone with dispatch for 49 minutes before losing contact, WPVI reported.

“A female reported to be stuck in a vehicle in high waters with her son,” Douglass Township Police Chief John Dzurek told WFMZ. “They were not able to get out and the water was starting to come into the vehicle.”

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Dzurek said the car was swept off Pine Forge Road near Ironstone Creek and officers ran into the same dangerous rising waters that plagued the woman and her son, according to the station.

Authorities found the car down a steep embankment near railroad tracks around 9:45 p.m., WFMZ reported. Dzurek said the car repeatedly went under water.

“The fire department, with the assistance of drones, did see the vehicle, and when they lost the vehicle, it would go under the water, then when the boat would get there, the vehicle wasn’t there anymore,” he told the station.

Neither the woman nor the child’s identity have been made public and the Berks County Coroner’s Office declined to comment.

Boyertown saw about 4.6 inches of rain on Thursday, ABC News reported. According to the AP, severe thunderstorms containing heavy rain battered the state that night, knocking down trees and power lines in some areas and causing power outages and travel issues in others.

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