UPDATE: Body of boating accident victim found. See story
MEROM -- Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers from District 5 continue to search Turtle Creek Reservoir for a missing boat accident victim identified as Josue Franco 38, of Fairbanks.
Indiana Conservation Officers launched a boat Sunday afternoon when they responded on the scene of the Sullivan County reservoir -- after the boat flipped, throwing its occupants overboard -- but they were forced to turn around due to the dangerous conditions. Their search for the remaining victim resumed early this morning, reportedly consisting of boat- based sonar searches of the bottom of the lake and shoreline.
According to Officer Max Winchell, Franco had gone fishing with Charles Herrin, 72 of Fairbanks, Mathew Cornelison, 44, and his son Gabriel Cornelison, 12, both of Plainfield, when the boat capsized around 2 p.m. yesterday.
Officials credit two Terre Haute men with saving three of the four victims from the rough waters on a Sunday with high winds, before emergency crews arrived. In fact, the wind speeds that afternoon reached over 30 mph causing extreme wave action on the shallow lake that afternoon, Winchell explained today.
"Witnesses Mike Daley and Ernie Blankenship, both of Terre Haute, were fishing on the lake when they noticed the winds had increased severely and began to motor back to the boat ramp when they observed a capsized boat with three people clinging to the top of the boat," Winchell said, adding, "Daley and Blankenship took on water into their boat while rescuing Mr. Herrin and the two Cornelison’s. They did not see Mr. Franco in the water at that time."
All three suffered from a severe state of hypothermia. Winchell said that the situation could have been fatal for them had Daley and Blankenship not risked their own lives to rescue them.
According to the report, Charles Herrin, Mathew Cornelison and Gabriel Cornelison were taken to a Sullivan County Hospital for treatment. Mathew Cornelison was later flown by Lifeline Helicopter to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he remains in stable condition. Charles Herrin and Gabriel Cornelison have both been released.
Indiana Conservation Officers and Sullivan County Sheriff’s Deputies continued to search the bank locating debris from the boat until late Sunday night. They also were able to retrieve the overturned boat from the water. Conditions remained extreme on the lake and the search was suspended due to rain and lightning on the water that night, Winchell said.
See related story
PUTNAMVILLE- Indiana State Police officers arrested a Clinton woman and a Kokomo woman on methamphetamine-related charges in two separate busts this morning.
ISP Putnamville District Drug Task Force investigators arrested 58-year-old Lori Hayes of Clinton, for three felony counts: Possession of methamphetamine, dealing in methamphetamine and maintaining a common nuisance. Hayes was take into custody without incident and transported to the Vermillion County Jail.
Amy M. Moss, 33, of Kokomo, was arrested a couple hours later for possession of methamphetamine (felony) and possession of paraphernalia (misdemeanor.) She was also cited for driving while suspended. Moss was incarcerated in the Putnam County Jail.
According to Sgt. Joe Watts, the first arrest was made when Drug Task Force investigators followed up on community tips and citizen complaints this morning at about 10 a.m. when they arrested the first meth-related suspect.
"Officers discovered Hayes was in possession of approximately 15 grams of suspected methamphetamine," Watts said, noting that members of the Clinton Police Department assisted at the scene.
Moss was arrested just before noon, after ISP Trooper Richard Klun of the Bloomington District stopped her red 1997 Dodge Ram on southbound US 231 near Interstate 70 in Putnam County.
"Klun had information that the driver was suspected of not having a valid driver’s license. During conversations with the driver, Klun noticed indicators of possible criminal activity and decided to conduct a free air sniff with his K-9 partner “Loki”. A positive alert on the Dodge pickup by “Loki” later revealed approximately one-half gram of suspected methamphetamine," Watts explained.
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