Safety checks on Schuylkill River crash victim’s car scheduled for Thursday

An autopsy performed on the body of a woman whose car crashed into the Schuylkill River in East Falls last week has determined the cause of death was accidental drowning, a Medical Examiner’s Office spokesman said Wednesday.

The police Accident Investigations Unit said a cause of why Chrystal J. Wallace-Ferrall’s vehicle plunged into the water had not yet been determined. Safety checks are scheduled for the vehicle Thursday to determine whether brake failure or another mishap occurred.

The victim, a 29-year-old mother of two, was driving a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis southbound on Ferry Road from the direction of the Route 1 Ridge Avenue off-ramp when it went across Kelly Drive, ran into a wall along the riverbank at a very high speed and crashed into the river.

Witnesses said they saw the victim near the third bridge pillar screaming for help before she was swept downstream and disappeared. Her body was discovered Monday afternoon by people walking along the river about a mile away from the crash scene.

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