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2 girls rescued after falling into icy river

By Staff | Mar 19, 2015

PENNSDALE – What began as a chase to capture two girls who escaped from the Ashler Manor residential home off of John Brady Drive early Wednesday afternoon on March 11 quickly turned into a rescue mission after the girls ran 75 to 100 feet out onto the frozen Susquehanna River only to fall into the water.

Two male employees from the Manor who were chasing the girls risked their lives by going out onto the frozen river, “reaching out to the girls and pulling them from the bone-chilling water,” Muncy Township Police Chief Christopher McKibben said. This was about 1:20 p.m.

“If the two men never saw the girls take off and if the men did not intervene, the girls were going to die,” McKibben said.

“There is no way they would have survived in that water. I feel they would have been quickly swept downstream and under the ice,” McKibben said.

Paramedics, along with Muncy Township police and volunteer firefighters, rushed to the scene to begin treating the girls, who ran 200 to 300 yards from the home before they began their hazardous adventure out onto the partially frozen river.

While one girl was not that seriously impacted by the bitter-cold water and could walk to an emergency vehicle with the help of responders, the other started “going in and out of consciousness,” township Fire Chief Scott Oldweiler said.

The second girl was loaded into a rescue basket that firefighters, using ropes, hoisted up two very steep embankments in order to get her to an ambulance, Oldweiler said.

Both girls were taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center and treated. There was no word on their medical conditions.