TARENTUM (KDKA) — A man swam into the river and died after he almost struck a pedestrian with his car near the Tarentum Bridge early Sunday morning.
The man has been identified by the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office as 19-year-old Sequorri Smith, of Arnold.
The incident began just before 5 a.m. near Ross Street and E. 9th Avenue.
According to Tarentum police Sgt. Ryan Hanford, officers were responding to a report of a car accident involving a pedestrian. According to the pedestrian, a vehicle was seen speeding down E. 9th Avenue. Smith almost struck the pedestrian, who jumped out of the way, and then struck multiple parked cars.
Smith sped away from the scene then got out of the car and fled on foot. His car was found, running, with the airbags deployed and extensive damage in a grassy area near the foot of the Tarentum Bridge.
Officers searched the area for Smith. He was later seen under the Tarentum Bridge, swimming into the Allegheny River.
Hanford says Smith was seen holding onto a cement pier underneath the bridge. Officers told him to stay there and that a rescue boat was coming, but he continued to swim farther out into the river.
“We kept telling him, ‘stop, stop,’ then I overheard him state, ‘I cannot breathe, I cannot breathe,'” Hanford said. “At this time, the rescue boat arrived on scene. I boarded the boat, we went out to the location where I had last seen him, and he was nowhere to be found.”
Authorities say Smith’s body was recovered around 10:45 a.m. by divers from the fire department. His body was found near the fishing pier at the marina in Tarentum.