Child named in Spring River drowning

Child named in Spring River drowning

FULTON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A nine-year-old child died Saturday after he dropped his fishing pole, went to retrieve it and was sucked into a nearby swift water tube on the Spring River, Fulton County Sheriff Albert Roork said.

Heath Arlen LeBegue died after arriving at Fulton County Hospital, Roork said.

Fulton County dispatch got a 911 call around 4:30 p.m. Saturday from a resident on English Creek Road, just south of Mammoth Spring. In the media release, Roork said the caller told authorities that a woman had come to her house screaming for help but the caller did not know what was wrong with the woman.

Deputies went to the scene and spoke to a man, who told them that the child had been sucked into a tunnel under English Creek Bridge. The water was very swift going into the tunnels and deputies tried to rescue the child, Roork said.

"Deputy Brittney Davison tied a rope around Chief Deputy John Cawvey to keep him from being sucked into the tunnel. Cawvey ran his arm back into the tunnel and was able to get hold of the child's shirt and pull him from the tunnel. The child had no pulse and CPR was started," Roork said.

Paramedics were able to get a pulse and take the child to Fulton County Hospital, where he later died.

Investigators spoke to the child's mother, Maranda Owens of Hardy, about what happened. Owens told authorities she had brought her son and three friends of hers for an outing at the creek.

"Maranda said Heath had been fishing and dropped his fishing pole and went to retrieve it when the swift water sucked him into the tube," Roork said, noting the child had been under water for about 30 minutes.

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