On Monday September 4th, 2023 at approximately 1400 hours (2 PM), Norristown Police officer Matthew Walsh was conducting a directed patrol at Riverfront Park, 2 Haws Avenue, Norristown PA as part of his daily patrol duties. Officer Walsh spotted a pick-up truck at the far end of the park, atop a boat ramp, begin accelerating towards the Schuylkill River and ultimately enter the water. Officer Wash radioed for assistance as the truck ended up about 50-60 feet from the boat ramp, in the middle of the river.
While attempting to free a boat from a secure mooring, other officers arrived and saw that there was a young female in the bed of the truck, that was sinking. One of the responding officers, Edward Butterworth, Sr., who is an avid swimmer, saw that this was a life-threatening situation, after hearing that the female did not know how to swim.
Officer Butterworth immediately entered the river after the girl’s father attempted to rescue the girl. Officer Butterworth saw that both were in danger, as the truck had completely submerged, and the current of the river easily could have pulled them both away.
Officer Butterworth bravely swam out to the pair and was able to guide both of them back to the shore safely. The young girl and her father were taken to a local hospital for observation, as neither appeared injured; Officer Butterworth was not injured in the rescue.
Officer Butterworth’s heroic actions saved the lives of these 2 people, who possibly would not have survived if it were not for his selfless and immediate actions.