Officials have found the body of one female victim after a tragic kayaking accident on the Ohio River on Saturday. Another victim is currently missing.
“They actually located a body that they were unable to get, later on a private craft got a body out of the water, and they were able to get that one to shore, we have one body unaccounted for at this time,” Leetsdale Volunteer Fire Chief Marty Davis explained following the incident.
Crews first responded to a call in the area near Dashhields Lock and Dam in Leetsdale. The call came in just before 7 PM. People aboard a private fishing vessel noticed that there was a body floating in the water. The victim was later identified as Brittany Evans, a 25-year-old woman from West View.
According to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Evans and the other victim reportedly went over the edge of the Dashields Lock and Dam. The other victim is also believed to be a female.
The search for the second victim proved to be challenging and the Pittsburg River Rescue said they would utilize infrared technology in order to detect the body in the water. Moreover, authorities also called in a drone to help assist the search in the area. “We can only go up so far with the boats, so rather than trying to push the boats to the max, it’s easier to just put me in a boat, put the drone up in the air, and literally I’m right above the dam,” drone operator Gary Bane told CBS Pittsburgh. Rescue crews called off the search for the second kayaker at around 9:15 PM on Saturday.
The next day, rescue crews resumed the search at 9 AM. however, they were forced to call it off at around 3 PM due to heavy rains. Officials are now saying that the search is now strictly a recovery effort.
Victim “loved life, loved people.”
Meanwhile, Evans’ father, Jack Evans, said he didn’t believe his daughter owned a kayak. He also said he has no idea how often his daughter took kayaking trips. “I think she’d been before and it was just something different to do yesterday. I don’t know. I haven’t…I can’t talk to her, I can’t ask her,” he said.
Mr. Evans described his daughter as someone who “loved life, loved people.”