OHIOPYLE (KDKA) – Rescue crews have called off their search for the night after working for hours at Ohiopyle State Park where a man fell into the raging Yough River Wednesday afternoon and went over the falls.
The man has been identified as 20-year-old Michael Davila of Carnegie.
Officials say he visiting the Southwestern Pennsylvania natural attraction when tragedy struck. He reportedly climbed from an observation deck onto a rock above the falls and slipped on a patch of ice.
“Him and his friends were here visiting the area, looking at the falls and it was just a nice outing,” said Ohiopyle Director Ken Bisbee.
Almost immediately, all hands available were on the river looking for the young man – on shore, in kayaks, and inflatable motor boats. The search was on and the water unrelenting.
“Our normal river level, well this time of year is always high, but in the summer the elevation is between 1.8 and 2 feet, and right now they’re at 7.56 feet,” said Bisbee. “So, you’re going to have a lot more water going over the falls.”
Hours passed, the search continued with no positive results.
The Army Corps of Engineers is now lowering the water at the Yough Dam to lower the water level on the river.
“So we’re hoping to lower the river level a little bit, so that would help us with our search,” Bisbee said.
Davila’s parents have arrived on the scene.
The search will resume Thursday between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
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