Woman Killed in Accident on Ohio River

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
20 May 2012
By the Tribune-Review

A woman was killed and a man injured after they went over the Dashields Dam on the Ohio River in Edgeworth on Sunday afternoon, officials said.

Allegheny County emergency dispatchers said boaters on the Ohio reported that a personal watercraft had gone over the dam and the two riders were in the water about 3:20 p.m.

The boaters pulled the victims from the water and took them ashore at the Leetsdale boat ramp. Although the rescuers performed CPR on their way to the shore, the woman died by the time the boaters were met by Leetsdale police or shortly afterward, said Dashields lockmaster Russ Moore.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office identified the woman as Melissa Mason, 24, of Aliquippa. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

The man's condition was not available Sunday night.

Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Jeff Hawk said the dam is a fixed-crest dam similar to several on the Allegheny River, and it lacks the movable gates at its top of other Ohio River dams. Markers on the river warn boaters about getting too close to the edge, he said. The top of the dam is about 10 feet above the water.

Moore said commercial traffic through the adjacent locks was temporarily halted after the accident but had resumed by evening.

Allegheny County Police and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are investigating the accident, Hawk said.