Victim capsized and got swept under ice that was covering a section of the river.
Posted by Joanne Bauer BURNSIDE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (EYT) – Punxsutawney-based State Police are conducting a death investigation of a drowning that occurred around 11:00 a.m. on March 1, at the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, in Burnside Township, Clearfield County. The Pennsylvania State Police, Troop C, Punxsutawney were summoned to the area of State Route 219 and Kantz Hill Road for a report of a water rescue in process. Clearfield County 911 dispatch center received a call for an individual who was in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and in distress, police say.
Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim, 48-year-old Edward Aaron Heberling, Jr., of Westover, Pa., was kayaking with a relative when his vessel overturned, and Heberling was thrown into swift moving freezing water, according to police. Heberling could not be located due to ice covering the river in the area of the accident. A command post was established on the bridge at Kantz Hill Road while the search was ongoing.
Approximately 45 minutes later, Heberling was discovered approximately 100 yards downstream of his entry point, police say. Emergency personnel immediately began to administer first aid, and Heberling was air-lifted from the scene to Conemaugh Hospital in Johnstown where medical personnel continued attempts to save his life. Efforts were unsuccessful and Heberling was pronounced deceased at the hospital, according to police. Dispatched and assisting at the scene were members of the following agencies: - Westover Fire Department - Cherry Tree Fire Department - Burnside Fire Department - Sandy Township Fire Department - Treasure Lake Fire Rescue - Jackson Township Ice Rescue - Grampian Fire Department - Curwensville Fire Department - Citizens Ambulance - Mahaffey Ambulance The state police would like to thank all agencies involved for their assistance
The above news clip was recorded on March 3, two days after the accident. Water levels have dropped to 2000 cfs at this time. The nearest gauge is http://waterdata.usgs.gov/pa/nwis/uv?cb_00060=on&cb_00065=on&format=gif_default&period=7&begin_date=2014-02-24&end_date=2014-03-02&site_no=01541000 The daily water fluctiations starting about noon each day are probably from melting snow. Air temp was 42*.
The news video shows ice on the banks, so the water had to be below 40*. Another report said that the paddlers rounded a bend into a shady spot of the river, and encountered ice all the way across the channel.