Father Searching For Answers After Son’s Death In Tarentum

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A young man is dead after jumping into the Allegheny River over the weekend. Police said he jumped in after nearly hitting a pedestrian with his car.

Today, his father is perplexed as to what prompted his son to do this.

“Whatever happened, I would imagine that he was scared and that’s one of the questions I ask myself. A: What made him run into the river? And B: What made it start, which is the most important,” Karsten Smith said.

According to Tarentum Police, the incident started around 4 a.m. Sunday, when Sequorri Smith, 19, of Arnold, was speeding down East 9th Avenue.

A pedestrian said Smith’s car nearly hit him, which forced him to jump out of the way. Smith then hit several parked cars before making his way down to the Allegheny River, where he decided to jump in.

His car was found, running, with the airbags deployed and extensive damage in a grassy area near the foot of the Tarentum Bridge.

“I’m still lost…more questions than answers,” Karsten Smith said.

Karsten Smith said his son was a good swimmer, but the conditions would’ve been challenging for anyone. Police said Smith made it to the first pier and held onto the cement from the bridge. Officers told him help was on the way, but for whatever reason, Smith swam farther out into the river.

“We kept telling him to stop, stop and then I heard, ‘I cannot breathe,’” Tarentum Police Sgt. Ryan Hanford said.

Smith’s body was found around 11 a.m. His dad said his son was an athletic young man with a good heart and that the way he died, doesn’t define who he was.

“I’m still waiting on my son to call me, and I know that will never happen again. Just to say I love you,” Karsten Smith said.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the cause or manner of death yet.

An autopsy is pending.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

More from Christine D'Antonio

One Comment

  1. Deputy53 says:

    “A: What made him run into the river? And B: What made it start, which is the most important,”
    The way you phrased this, you expect to be able to pin this on anyone, but your son.
    Time of day, weekend, almost hitting a pedestrian, hitting many car, airbags deployed, hiding from the cops, jumping into the river, etc. You yourself said he was a good swimmer, yet he drown. Usually this indicates alcohol/drugs are involved, especially when he yelled put to witnesses “I can’t breath.” I am sorry for you & your family for your loss.
    I think you might want to track down WHERE he was, and WHO he was with in the hours before this happened. Not knowing him/you, or anybody connected with this event, check his cell phone voice/text records to see where and who he was with. Every 19 year old can’t exist without a cell phone today. Use technology to help you. Good Luck in your search for answers. I see no signs of “police brutality” or failure to follow procedure. But, again I wasn’t there. Easy to “armchair quarterback” this, and I don’t like 2nd guessing any other officer.

  2. Argent Furor says:

    ROCKFISH! He’s definitely a GOOD BOY now.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Bringing You The Best in Sports Talk Radio
New Podcast Network
Learn How

Listen Live