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Missing Pregnant Woman, 9-Year-Old Son Found Dead Amid Flash Floods

By Zachary Stieber

A pregnant woman who went missing with her son was found dead in her vehicle late July 11, authorities said.

The mother and son were inside the car in Douglass Township in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on Thursday afternoon when they became stranded by the flash flooding.

The woman, identified as Pam Vera Snyder, called 911 as water breached the vehicle and swept it away, reported NBC 10. The call was dropped amid the chaos.

Police officers told WGAL that Snyder was trying to cross Pine Forge Road, which was flooded, at the Colebrookdale Railroad when the vehicle was swept away by the current.

Rescue crews rushed to the area but weren’t able to find the mother and son in time.

The vehicle was found about a half-mile away from where it was when Snyder called 911.

A family member told NBC 10 that Snyder was seven months pregnant and was planning to get married later this year.

“So tonight was a horrible night I am still trying to wake up from. This is my daughter in law and my grandson and as you can see she was going to have a baby. While driving home she and her son were sweeped into the creek by the flood waters and had their lives snatched from us. We were going to have her baby shower on Sunday,” wrote Facebook user Doris Knarr early Friday.

Snyder’s son was identified as Preston Snyder.

She had already named her daughter Evelyn Rose, Knarr said.

Chief Deputy Coroner Jonn M. Hollenbach told the Reading Eagle that autopsies would not be performed on the body because of the strong evidence they drowned after being swept away.

Douglass Township Police Chief John Dzurek said that he was driving around trying to find the pregnant mother as she spoke to dispatchers but wasn’t able to get to her in time.

“When I was driving through the waters myself, I could feel my SUV, which sits pretty high, wanting to drift away,” Dzurek said. “I was able to get off a little dirt lane, look down and I couldn’t see anything, got spun around and tore back through before I became part of it.”

Family members told officials they weren’t sure why she was on the road she was on.

“This was apparently not her normal route going home, but unfortunately, like every other traveler in the township at the time, was running into these road blocks, flooded roadways, trees down, on just about every road,” Dzurek said, reported WFMZ.

Flooding

Emergency dispatchers took calls about flooding across Berks County, reported WFMZ.

One resident in Robesonia told the broadcaster that the creek there “has become a river!”

Berks County and nearby counties were hit by heavy flooding.

William Turner, deputy director for Emergency Management in Chester County, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that rescue teams were sent out for 12 water rescues.

According to the National Weather Service, nearly 8 inches of rain fell in Reading on Thursday and a number of areas remained flooded on Friday.

The service said some damage may have been caused by a tornado.