Police: Driver fleeing crash dies after car plunges into river

Divers in the Delaware River search for people who were in a car that apparently drove into the water.
Divers in the Delaware River search for people who were in a car that apparently drove into the water. (Robert Moran / Staff)
Posted: July 30, 2014

Update: Police have identified the driver who died as Marc Oliverio, 25, of the 1800 block of McKean Street in South Philadelphia.

Earlier story:

Marquita Castleberry was taking a leisurely stroll late Monday afternoon near Penn's Landing when a car sped past her, crashed through a metal fence, flipped end over end, and plunged into the Delaware River.

"It looked like something from a movie," said Castleberry, 38, a city resident.

The man driving the car was rescued by divers, but later was pronounced dead at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Police said the car, a black Volkswagen, had been involved in an accident at Fourth and Arch Streets and the driver had fled the scene.

Shortly before 6 p.m., the Volkswagen zoomed down a ramp connecting the Chestnut Street bridge to Columbus Boulevard and hurtled into the water next to the Pier 3 condominiums, authorities said.

"There are no skid marks," said Battalion Chief Robert E. Clark, indicating that the brakes either failed or were not applied.

A police officer and two men who were at Pier 3 jumped into the water, authorities said. "One of them had [the driver's] hand but couldn't get him out," Clark said.

Police divers pulled the unconscious man, described as being in his mid-30s, from the car. He was pronounced dead at 7:04 p.m.

Castleberry said she was walking near the bottom of the Chestnut Street bridge off-ramp when the car flew by her within a few feet. "It happened so fast. I just froze," she said.

The car crashed through the metal fence and struck a concrete wall. The back of the car flipped up and the vehicle tumbled in midair before hitting the water, Castleberry said.


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