BURNSIDE TOWNSHIP — A 48-year-old Westover man died following an accidental drowning in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River after his kayak overturned in the freezing water around 11 a.m. Saturday, according to Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police.
Police said Edward Aaron Heberling Jr. was pronounced dead at Conemaugh Hospital in Johnstown.
PSP-Punxsy were summoned to the area of State Route 219 and Kantz Road in Burnside Township, Clearfield County for a report of a water rescue in process.
The Clearfield County 911 dispatch center had received a call for an individual who was in the river and in distress.
Upon arrival, it was determined that Heberling had been kayaking with a relative when when his kayak overturned, and he was thrown into swift-moving, freezing water. Due to the ice covering the river, Heberling could not be located in the area of the accident, police said.
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 from his entry point.
Emergency personnel immediately began to administer first-aid, and Heberling was air lifted from the scene to Conemaugh Hospital. Efforts to revive Heberling continued at the hospital but were unsuccessful, police reported.
The following agencies assisted at the scene: Westover Fire Dept., Cherry Tree Fire Dept., Burnside Fire Dept., Sandy Township Fire Dept., Treasure Lake Fire Rescue, Jackson Township Ice Rescue, Grampian Fire Dept., Curwensville Fire Dept., Citizens Ambulance and Mahaffey Ambulance.