Freak Accident Kills 14-Year-Old While Fishing

June 26, 2007 - Posted at 9:48 p.m. CDT

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR -- An evening of fishing turns deadly when a freak accident claims the life of a 14-year-old Region 8 boy Monday night and it happened in front of his 11-year-old brother.

Hoxie student Eugene Bailey, Jr. was killed while his family was fishing in Powhatan and police officials say it's an accident no one saw coming.

The peaceful banks of the Black River in Powhatan are often a good place to relax and maybe catch a few fish.  But for one Region 8 family...they will never be the same.

It was just after 8:00 Monday night when Eugene Bailey, Jr., his father Eugene Bailey, Sr. and brother Andrew were fishing here on the banks of the Black River.  Eugene Jr.'s fishing line broke and he tried to climb up the side of the bank to retrieve another hook.  During his journey up, he grabbed hold of rock that came lose, falling on him and crushing him.

"According to his brother, he struggled for a minute trying to get the rock off and the little brother and the one that was trapped under it tried, but it was too heavy.  He just wasn't able to do, he struggled for a minute and then collapsed," said Sgt. Detective Stan Finley of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, "His 11-year-old brother saw it all, witnessed the whole incident and he called for help.  His father was able to call 911."

Eugene Bailey, Jr. would have been an 8th grader this year at Hoxie.  His family says he'd been fishing there before and loved being outdoors.  But it would be a 3 foot boulder that ended his life suddenly.

"When the emergency personnel responded, they found a large rock on the 14-year-old boy's chest and stomach area. It took 3 people to get the rock off of him," said Finley solemnly.

Officials from the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, Black Rock Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services responded.

"They immediately started CPR on him and transported him to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Hospital personal worked on him, worked hard for a long time. Just wasn't' able to do anything," said Finley.

Funeral arraignments have been made for Eugene Bailey, Jr.  A viewing will be Thursday night from 4:00-8:00 at the House Gregg Funeral Home in Walnut Ridge.  Graveside services will be on Friday at 2:00 at the Lebanon Cemetery.

Donations may be made at the House Gregg Funeral Home in Walnut Ridge.