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Police ID Good Samaritan swept away by flood waters; search suspended

Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 02, 2018

Maryland State Police have suspended Sunday search efforts for a woman swept away by swift water Friday night in Harford County.

The suspension comes after two Baltimore Police divers assisting in the search had to be transported to Shock Trauma after an emergency caused them to ascend too rapidly.  

"Visibility is very poor. The divers can’t see their oxygen gauges. They can’t see their depth gauges," Maryland State Police spokesman Ron Snyder said. 


Melissa Anne Lehew, 34, of Darlington reportedly went missing after being swept over Broad Run Bridge by rushing water, while she and her boyfriend assisted a stranded motorist in the area of Route 136 and James Run.


"It pushed her legs under the guardrail and her head was below the water," boyfriend Kyle Bowman said. "I grabbed her hand and was trying to pull her up. I grabbed a bush or a tree or something a little further up and we just couldn’t hold onto each other and the river just took her away. And she was just gone within a second."


Bowman describes Lehew as a selfless and caring mother of 4. He said many people called her Elizabeth. 


Maryland State Police announced on Twitter at 1 p.m. Monday that they had found a body during the search for Lehew. Roughly two hours later they were able to confirm the body was Lehew.


"She was very religious and always wanted to help anyone she could, even perfect strangers and she was just she nicest girl in the world. That was who she was," Bowman said.


On Saturday morning, crews recovered the body of the stranded motorist,  67-year-old Daniel Samis after he too was swept over the bridge by swift water while inside his sedan.

Officials have not made clear on when search efforts will resume but say the two divers are expected to be ok.