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Perryville boy drowns in Susquehanna River Saturday

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A 5-year-old Perryville boy died Saturday after falling into the Susquehanna River from the town pier near Rodgers Tavern and drowning.

Shawn Buchanan, fire chief for the Community Fire Company of Perryville, said Monday the boy fell in the water and "did not recover" from his injuries.

Charles Wernz, chief of the Perryville Police Department, said the incident happened around 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The boy's family was fishing at the end of the pier, and the boy was riding a scooter along the pier with another child when he fell in the water. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Wernz said members of his family and emergency rescue personnel in the area tried to rescue the boy, who was found under a floating pier.

Members of the Perryville fire company tried to revive the child using CPR, but were not successful.

The Maryland Transportation Authority Police, the Susquehanna Hose Company of Havre de Grace and the Maryland Natural Resources Police also responded.

The boy was taken to the University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace, where we was pronounced dead, Wernz said.

Wernz said the boy's name would not be released "out of respect for the family," which lives in Perryville.

"The town clearly has signs indicating that fishing and riding of bikes on the pier is prohibited," Wernz said.

The Perryville pier and floating dock opened on the waterfront near Rodgers Tavern during the spring of 2012. The pier was built with $2.1 million in town, federal and state funds.

Signs prohibiting fishing were also posted on the pier when it opened and remain in place. Bicycles and skateboards are also off-limits.

Wernz said police investigators will forward their report to the Cecil County State's Attorney's Office once it is completed and it will be up to them to decide if any charges will be filed.

Saturday's incident was the first involving death or serious injury at the pier since its completion.

Last month, however, a woman told Perryville Police she was raped near Rodgers Tavern by two men, who later fled from officers by running down the pier and jumping into the river. One man was found trying to hide underneath the pier; the other was apprehended several hours later at his home in Perryville.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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