Police ID pregnant woman, 9-year-old son killed in flash flooding in Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police have identified the pregnant woman and her 9-year-old son who were killed as severe storms hit Berks County, Pennsylvania Thursday night.

Thirty-year-old Pamela Snyder and her son, Preston Dray, both of Douglass Township died after their vehicle was swept away by floodwaters on Pine Forge Road, police confirmed Friday.

The monsoon-like rains hammered the area adjacent to the Manatawny Creek.

Police said around 4:30 p.m. Snyder, who was eight months pregnant, was heading toward her home, which is outside Boyertown.

There was flash flooding during a very heavy rainstorm and Snyder's car was overcome by the fast-moving water and eventually swept into the nearby creek.

Pictured are Pamela Snyder and her son, Preston Dray.



Snyder called 911 around 4:30 p.m. to tell them she and her son were stuck inside her Mazda. She told authorities the water was rushing inside the vehicle and they were unable to escape.

"Our 911 dispatchers were on the line with the victim the whole time and eventually had lost contact with her," Douglass Township Chief John Dzurek said.

Snyder was on the phone with dispatch for 49 minutes while rescue efforts were underway. But rising water even prevented the crews from getting to the mother and son.

Dzurek says a major rescue effort was mounted that included watercraft, a helicopter and a drone.

"The fire department and the water rescue team even had difficulty getting in because just about every road in the township had some sort of obstacle and made rescue efforts extremely difficult," Dzurek said.

On Friday, Snyder's close friends at the Brookside Family Restaurant in Pottstown - where she worked for the last six years - were remembering a life gone too soon.

Pictured are Pamela Snyder and her son, Preston Dray.



"She was super sweet, nice to everyone, always genuine," said Miranda Bildstein, who was also Snyder's neighbor.

Bildstein said many were planning on attending a baby shower this Sunday.

"We will miss her here, it's been very devastating, and you know hard for us," said restaurant owner, Kelly Mourar.

Mourar said Snyder had just left work a few hours before the heavy rains came.

"It's heartbreaking just to know that her son was with her and expecting the newborn," she said.

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Chopper 6 Video: The vehicle was recovered on July 11, 2019, after a pregnant woman and her son were killed in flash flooding in Berks County.



It is believed the powerful rapidly rising waters washed the victim's Mazda off the road and into the creek where it was swept about a half-mile downstream.

It reportedly came to rest on a small island near a bridge.

Snyder and her son were eventually recovered by divers and pronounced dead by the Berks County Coroner's office.

On Friday morning, Tiffany Taglieber placed flowers at the bridge.

She did not know the victims, but she grew up near the creek and was saddened by the deaths.

"I can't believe that it would happen. I just feel absolutely horrible for the family and friends," Taglieber said.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

Family members have asked for privacy as they grieve.
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