Monroeville man’s death in Allegheny River ruled accidental drowning

September 25, 2018

A fishing accident that led to the death of a Monroeville man on Aug. 25 has been ruled an accident.

The cause of death was ruled as a drowning, according to a Medical Examiner report issued Aug. 30.

Gregory Rudcki, 51, went fishing with a friend and a dog on the Alle­gheny River near Plum and Springdale on Aug. 25. The men launched the boat from Springdale at 8 a.m., said Plum police Lt. Lanny Conley in a news release.

Several area police, fire, paramedics and river rescue units then responded to the Plum and Springdale shorelines to investigate a report of a person submerged in the water around 10:30 a.m.

Rudcki’s body was found just before 2 p.m. around 15 feet from the shore in Plum. The water was nine feet deep, according to Darrick Gerano, administrative director of the Murrysville Medic One Dive Team.

Conley said in a news release the men decided to cross the river to the Plum side, off of Barking Road, where the dog could swim in shallow water.

Conley wrote that Rudcki “apparently entered the water voluntarily and began to struggle staying afloat.” The boat owner, whose identity has not been released, provided the man with a flotation device but Rudcki, who tried to swim to shore, went under water and didn’t resurface. The boat owner then called 911.

The medical examiner’s report listed the investigating agency as Plum police but Jeff Armstrong, Plum Police chief, said his department is not investigating and referred questions to the state Fish and Boat Commission.

A spokesperson for the commission declined to comment because it is still an open investigation.

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