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Police: Man plunges to his death near Route 422 construction zone

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: May 26 2014 09:36:06 PM CDT
Updated On: May 27 2014 04:49:05 AM CDT

Lower Pottsgrove Township Police responded to Route 422 near Route 724 around midnight Friday for a report of an accident, but it soon became an all-out search for the driver.

NORTH COVENTRY TWP., Pa. -

Lower Pottsgrove Township Police responded to Route 422 near Route 724 around midnight Friday for a report of an accident, but it soon became an all-out search for the driver.

Witnesses say a jeep was barreling down Route 422 in North Coventry Township, traveling close to 100 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour construction zone.

Police say the jeep slammed into a guardrail near the Chester-Montgomery County line, something local residents say is common in that stretch of road.

"Before even all the construction started, if you are coming from Reading on 422, that turn, it kind of catches you by surprise. If you are not paying attention, if you happen to look down to change the radio, before you know it, you are heading off the side with the guard rail and stuff," said Bob Murtagh of Pottstown.

Police say after hitting the guardrail, the driver, Scott Fitzpatrick, 42, jumped out of his car, along with the passenger, and fled the scene.

The passenger was later found intoxicated, walking along the bridge, but the driver was nowhere to be found.

A search party found him 24 hours later under the unfinished portion of the bridge.

Police believe Fitzpatrick was hopping between beams when he fell in between and plunged to his death.

"That is kind of crazy," said Murtagh. "I could not even imagine trying to think about doing that. It is kind of scary."

Other drivers we spoke with say that stretch of Route 422 is dangerous and they avoid it at all costs.

"I just think it is dangerous. It really is and the whole road I do not like any of it, not a bit of it, not the on ramp or anything. That is why I choose not to drive that highway," said Connie Stec of Phoenixville.

Police say the coroner is waiting to determine the cause of death until they get the results of the toxicology report.