Baird was reportedly killed when a canoe she was operating on the Clarion River near Portland Mills in Ridgway Township became hung up on a support beneath the Portland Mills Bridge. Baird was reportedly trapped with her head underneath the water’s surface. A man with Baird at the time also became hung up on the pylon and suffered injuries.
Emergency responders were dispatched to the scene around 2 p.m. Baird was pronounced dead at the scene and the man transported to UPMC Altoona for treatment, said Ridgway volunteer fire chief Scott Pontious. Both were part of a larger canoe group. Officials believed alcohol consumption and high waters following flooding Wednesday throughout the area may have played a role.
A man was also charged public drunkenness at the scene.