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.