Pregnant woman, 9-year-old son killed by floodwaters in Pennsylvania

N'dea Yancey-Bragg
Police in Pennsylvania say rising floodwaters killed a pregnant mother and her son Thursday.

Corrections & clarifications: An earlier version of this story misstated Preston Dray's age.

Authorities in Pennsylvania say a pregnant mother and her  9-year-old son were found dead after their car was swept away by rising floodwaters.

Pamela Synder, 31,  was attempting to drive through a flooded roadway with her son, Preston Dray, when the rising water began flooding the vehicle, Douglass Township Police Chief John Dzurek said in a statement Friday. Berks County saw several inches of rain Thursday, causing creeks to flood and roadways to shut down for hours.

Snyder called 911 and dispatchers continued to speak with her while police, rescue crews and water units attempted to save the pair. Responding units struggled to get to the car because of the flooding.

Then the call cut out.

“Then they made several attempts to call her back but the phone went right to voicemail,” Dzurek told WFMZ. "The fire department with the assistance of drones did see the vehicle, and when they lost the vehicle, it would go under the water, then when the boat would get there, the vehicle wasn’t there anymore,”

After searching for nearly five hours, the vehicle was located a half-mile downstream from where the distress call was made. The bodies of Snyder and her son were recovered by the divers; the pair were pronounced dead by the Berks County Coroner’s office, police said. 

The Douglass Township Constable Office shared news of the deaths on Facebook and warned residents to be "extra cautious" while traveling during heavy rainfall.

"Tough evening for a local family and some local first responders this evening in Douglass (Berks). Tragedy struck and Mother Nature’s fury took away an expecting mother and child far too soon," officials wrote. "Hug your family, hug your kids, be thankful for your life and all you have."

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Contributing: The Associated Press

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pregnant woman, 9-year-old son killed by floodwaters in Pennsylvania