HARDY, AR (KAIT) – The Sharp County Sheriff's Department is reporting alcohol played a major role in the drowning death of a 17-year-old boy over the weekend.
The drowning happened around 1am Saturday July 2, at the L.B. Access to the Spring River.
After further investigation by Sharp County deputies say the 17-year-old fell into the Spring River due to some level of alcohol intoxication. Sharp County Coroner Doug Wortham originally told Region 8 News that the river bank collapsed, causing the teenager to fall into the river.
Sheriff deputies say the river bank was already eroded from past flooding. After interviewing witnesses, deputies believe alcohol was the key contributor to the fall. Investigators spoke to several teens that had been with the teenager earlier and all admitted that he had been drinking. Detectives say they found a half bottle of hard liquor about 15 to 20 feet away from where they found the teen's body.
In the news release, Sharp County Sheriff Deputies say the teens told them they got their alcohol at a liquor store in Poinsett County by getting an unidentified man to purchase it for them. Detectives say they're continuing to investigate who may have purchased the alcohol, and have asked for a toxicology report in the teenagers death.
Region 8 News will continue to track this story and bring you any updates as soon as they become available.