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Body identified after found in rising floodwaters on Highway 37

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Breaking News(Source: Gray News)
Published: Feb. 23, 2019 at 1:07 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2019 at 1:15 PM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Authorities have identified the body of a Craighead County man found Saturday morning in rising waters on Highway 37 near Elgin, according to Arkansas State Police.

ASP Public Information Officer Bill Sadler said Loyd Cockrell of Jonesboro was traveling near the Cord community Friday night.

“Preliminarily law enforcement officers believe Cockrell drowned sometime late yesterday as he attempted to drive along a flooded stretch of Arkansas Highway 37,” Sadler said in a statement to Region 8 News.

Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas said both Jackson and Independence County authorities searched for the man, after getting a call. Cockrell was supposed to be making a delivery to the Batesville area Friday night but did not show up, officials said.

In a statement Saturday, Lucas said Jackson County deputies received a call around 7:30 a.m. Feb. 23 from the Arkansas State Police, noting they had received a call from a Jonesboro pharmacy business.

“The caller state that Mr. Cockrell never made it to the delivery and that the last location they had on the vehicle was at 6:13 p.m. on State Highway 37 near the Elgin community,” Lucas said.

Independence County deputies were able to discover the vehicle and the body around 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Lucas said.

Highway 37 is one of several roads in Region 8 that have faced rising flood waters in recent days. Lucas said it appears Cockrell went around three barricades on Highway 37 while traveling in the area.

“It was determined that as Mr. Cockrell was traveling west on State Highway 37, he disregarded and drove around three road closed barricades at which point, his vehicle was swept away by the high water,” Lucas said.

Lucas noted the death was a senseless tragedy and that authorities stress that barricades are placed in areas for safety reasons and not as an inconvenience for motorists.

'This was a senseless and tragic incident, during times of flooding law enforcement and the highway department put barricades out, closing roads due to high water. This is for the safety of the motorist. However, every year, law enforcement has to perform multiple water rescues and/or discoveries due to individuals disregarding the barricades. Please heed and do not disregard these warnings. It is for your own safety and also the safety of the officers that have to risk their lives when you disregard the barricades," Lucas said.

Road closures in the area can be found by going to iDriveArkansas.com.

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