Woman jumps off train trestle, drowns in Schuylkill River on July 4th: Officials

Officials said the river is unpredictable because of the level only being ankle or knee-deep in certain areas.

Bryanna Gallagher Image
Friday, July 8, 2022
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The Montgomery County Coroner's Office determined Samantha Henry's cause of death to be drowning, stating it was accidental.

MONT CLARE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Upper Providence Township police are investigating after a woman drowned in the Schuylkill River on Monday.

The Montgomery County Coroner's Office determined Samantha Henry's cause of death to be drowning, stating it was accidental.

"We don't want people jumping off the bridge, that's the bottom line. Unfortunately, a tragic event for a young woman, I'm sure a tremendous person, who's not here anymore," said Eamon Brazunas, the chief of Fire and Emergency Services of the Phoenixville Fire Department.

Officials responded to a 911 call on the Fourth of July of a victim jumping off a railroad trestle and not resurfacing.

"The person was able to provide good information, flag us down, direct us where we need to be. That's what we stress when people call 911," Brazunas said.

Thanks to the witness who waited for first responders to arrive, 11 water rescue and dive teams were able to quickly begin searching the river for Henry.

"You're jumping from the height, you're going to hit the bottom in some of the sections, especially near the bridges. You may think I'll be ok, I'll be safe, but it's going to be too shallow," said Brazunas.

Officials said the river is unpredictable because of the level only being ankle or knee-deep in certain areas.

According to police, Henry was with a group tubing on the river. While interviewing witnesses, it appears she left the group to jump off the trestle. The rescue eventually turned into a recovery mission.

"(We were) able to recover her relatively quickly and provide the family with some closure," said Brazunas.

Police said they have sat down with several witnesses, but still, they say anyone who may have any information should please give them a call at 610-933-7899.