• Teen sucked into drainage pipe by floodwaters, emerges across street

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    BETHEL PARK, Pa. - A Bethel Park teenager admits he’s lucky to be alive after getting sucked into a drainage pipe underneath Clifton Road.

    Ben Smith was helping clear debris from outside of neighbors’ houses during massive flooding Wednesday night.

    RELATED STORY: Extreme flooding slams the area; states of emergency in Bethel Park, Upper St. Clair

    "There was a quick moment when I thought I wouldn't get out. It felt like I was going down," Smith said. "We were trying to move a van away from it and clear some debris. I went to go after this wood panel and my foot slipped and I just went right under."

    Neighbors tried to pull him out, but the floodwater was too strong and Smith was washed away.


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    He told Channel 11 his instincts and Eagle Scout training kicked in.

    "It teaches you to be prepared for any sort of circumstance that comes your way," Smith said. "I knew going against the water would not work at all. So I just tucked in and hoped I could end up somewhere."

    Smith estimates he was trapped in the pipe for about a minute before washing out in a small creek on the other side of the road.

    He escaped with no broken bones and no major injuries, which shocked his friends and neighbors.

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