Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

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Charles1967
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Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Charles1967 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:51 pm

Quick update. The River Park closed tonight around 5:25pm [according to my wife who was asked to leave at that time]. WE arrived at 4:30pm'ish and I was behind 2 SSPD going in, and had two more behind me as I entered the parking lot. I saw two fully clothed officers [SSPD & EMT(?)] entering the water to cross the river down BELOW the falls. I heard another officer say "missing child", so I suited up. Another playboater was leaving, but stopped and also got out. When I got down to the lower island below the falls I asked "do you need boats in the water?" and two officers both said "YES". Myself, another young kid in a rec boat, and another play boater paddled down apparently looking for an older teenager that was reported missing by his friends. SSPD rescue caught up with us a few minutes later along with other volunteers. It was an hour before Highfill (SP?) got a boat on the water, but we'd already covered a large distance and SSPD Rescue was doing a VERY thorough "grid" search using volunteers IN the water. The current was not strong and the location the kid was last seen presented no obvious dangers.
I left around 6:15pm and the park was still closed. Again, this did not take place IN the park, rather a few hundred yards down presumably at a rope swing on private property was where the kid [older teenager] was last seen. I only assume they were 'parked' in the River Park lot, but don't know that for sure either.
I learned that paddling upstream in a playboat...is NOT all that fun.

Chaz.
Last edited by Charles1967 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Siloam Springs resident a few miles from the Ford. ccoletexas@gmail.com - Charles

Charles1967
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Charles1967 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:42 pm

We're seeing updates regarding the search on Facebook [family], but I don't consider that official. Again, the young man went missing a few hundred yards downstream from the park according to friends who were with him. You guys may hear official news before I do as we don't do the T.V. thing. CC
Siloam Springs resident a few miles from the Ford. ccoletexas@gmail.com - Charles

Charles1967
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Charles1967 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:37 pm

http://www.4029tv.com/news/teen-missing ... 978#!0k7HY" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Siloam Springs resident a few miles from the Ford. ccoletexas@gmail.com - Charles

Hcarr999
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Hcarr999 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:33 pm

The media really f*#$ed the story up
Paddle or die!!!!

Charles1967
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Charles1967 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:01 am

I'm afraid it wouldn't have mattered. One reason I wanted to get firsthand account on this site quickly, was because I was there. The other reason was that by the time I left the water [before the body was found], there was already a rumor a kid had drowned "at the water park" and the local Facebook vine was "ON FIRE" with warning NOT to take your family to the water park due to MULTIPLE near drowning and now a death. Even if the media had been perfectly accurate, very few people in the community were even aware this "little creek" of a river existed until Siloam Springs opened up this park. The first 'designed' public access with a welcoming front. The River Park [sorry, I think it is a mistake to call it by the official name] is what people associate with the Illinois River in Siloam Springs. If somebody parks HERE and goes 3 miles down river to danger - they'll still see it as "the River Park".

Long night.

Just to be clear, I'm in no way in contact with ANYBODY regarding the investigation or at the city. Once I left the water at 6:15pm last night, my only information came from friends of this boy's family via my wife. Two of my daughters knew him. :(
Siloam Springs resident a few miles from the Ford. ccoletexas@gmail.com - Charles

Charles1967
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Charles1967 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:07 am

The story has gotten MUCH more accurate. Even the title says "near" now.

http://5newsonline.com/2014/06/17/dive- ... ater-park/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Siloam Springs resident a few miles from the Ford. ccoletexas@gmail.com - Charles

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magicmike
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by magicmike » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:28 am

Just saw on the news. The park is closed and they don't know when it will reopen. -M-
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,it's time to pause and reflect".

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magicmike
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by magicmike » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:29 am

Very sad. My thoughts go out to the family. -M-
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,it's time to pause and reflect".

Hcarr999
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Hcarr999 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:46 am

The park is open
Paddle or die!!!!

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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by greg vanhorn » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:07 pm

The drowning victim's name was Evan Thomas. He was 16 years old and from Siloam Springs. Because he loved to recreate on rivers, he was one of us. Rest in peace, Evan.

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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Ouachitoff » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:05 pm

Wow. The comments on that news story page... I guess I shouldn't be surprised the idiots have figured out how to use the internet at this stage. :poke2:
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Joe Purdy
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Joe Purdy » Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:04 pm

The a representative from the city of Siloam Springs was just on a news conference and the media was hounding him to go into detail concerning the details of how the death occurred. They kept slanting the questions to make the uneducated general public think that this is a dangerous park and the city is shirking it's duty to educate the public about whitewater safety. He kept telling them that it was inappropriate to discuss the virtues of water safety at this time in light of the recent death.
At no time did anyone, including the city rep ever mention that the death did not occur in the boundaries of the park, at least not that I heard, but I joined the conference after it had already started.
I wanna leave this world the same way I came into it... naked, screaming, and covered in someone else's blood...

Hcarr999
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Hcarr999 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:16 pm

The city needs to speak up and make it clear that the drowning did not happen at the park. It was merly used as a reference point for 911. The city is lettin the media kill it's reputation quickly.
Paddle or die!!!!

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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Yarbrough » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:15 pm

5NEWS KFSM in Fayetteville just reported that it happened "in the water park" and that it is now closed. ? My thoughts go out to the family.
Dr Ray Stantz: Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college! You don't know what it's like out there! I've *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*

Charles1967
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Re: Illinois River Incident - 6/17/2014

Post by Charles1967 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:01 am

Park was not closed. Opened the next morning after the incident. I was there from 4pm-7:45pm last night. There were only about 10 swimmers. 3-5 boaters. One cop. 3 news vans. Many folks are assuming/interpreting [initial news stories] the park is closed so not making the trip.
Siloam Springs resident a few miles from the Ford. ccoletexas@gmail.com - Charles

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