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Death of man who fled ruled drowning

Carbon County Coroner Robert Miller said Friday a man who ran into the Lehigh River to flee the police earlier this week, drowned.

Jeffrey Hosier, 32, of Weissport, fled from Franklin Township police around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday after they responded to reports of a man acting suspiciously. He told people he was being chased by police, but he wasn’t at that point.

When the police arrived, Hosier ran off and an officer started chasing him. That’s when Hosier ran into the Lehigh River from the Weissport side before the trestle that crosses between Lehighton and Weissport. Miller said Hosier did not jump from the trestle.

“He floated down toward the trestle when the current picked up,” Miller said. “The current there is pretty nasty.”

An undertow is in that area, and other people have also drowned there, he said. The water is about 8 feet deep and is currently only 47 degrees. Although hyperthermia is possible, it can’t be determined through an autopsy, Miller said.

A toxicology report will come back in about 14 weeks to determine if a substance may have contributed to Hosier’s belief that he was being chased.

Authorities said that an effort was made to rescue Hosier. An officer got a stick from shore and tried to reach out to him in order to pull him to shore, but Hosier refused saying he didn’t want to go to jail. Shortly after, he went into the stretch of the river with the stronger current and slipped beneath the surface. His body was found around 1 p.m. Wednesday by dive teams, not far from where he entered the water.