January 20, 2005--Posted at 6:30 CST
WALCOTT-- The burned remains of a Paragould man have been identified.
33-year-old, Mark Andrew Gilbert was driving his Isuzu Trooper at sand creek in Walcott when his car was engulfed in quick sand.
It's called Sand Creek, a Greene County hangout and trail riding hotspot for those with 4 wheel drive or ATV's, but for one Paragould man a joyride turned tragic.
"There are areas in here that fillup with sand and water and there's no run off. Once it gets into that little dip in the groundwork it creates a quagmire or quicksand," Greene County Sheriff Dan Langston says.
That's right, quicksand, and Mark Gilbert's Isuzu was engulfed in it.
"He had just puchased the vehicle the day before and at about one in the morning he decided to go out and mess around with it a little and check out the four wheel drive," Langston says.
You can still see the tracks in the sand, but when witnesses found Gilbert all that was left were the ashes.
"They noticed a vehicle was smoldering over here by the bluff. They drove over to look at it, and they got stuck themselves. They got out of the vehicle and came over and looked into it and found the remains of a person," Langston says.
Police assume the driver was trying to make his way out of the quicksand when his car overheated and caught fire. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
"It was totally engulfed. Below the wheels and the wheel wells were in the sand and it kinda made an oven effect," Langston says.
Greene County officials say that the patterns of the creek bed are constantly changing creating dangerous situations such as quick sand.
Unfortunately, one man has lost his life, but they hope this will be a lesson for others.