MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

July 6, 2012

Another drowning in Illinois River

— For the third time in less than a week, a drowning has been reported on the Illinois River, according to a media release from Ed Fite, the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission’s administrator.

Leslie “Rocky” Angel, 54, of Tahlequah, drowned about 3 p.m. Thursday, the release said.

His was the third drowning in the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission in less than a week, it said.

A OSRC report states that Angel and a friend went swimming at Riverside Park, east of Tahlequah. Witnesses said Angel dropped the friend off at the south end of Riverside Park, drove about 200 yards to the other end of the park, and was planning to swim downstream to meet the friend.

The friend waited 20 minutes before walking to where Angel had parked. Upon arrival, the friend saw a man pulling Angel from the water, the release states.

The report says no lifejackets were in use and states consumption of alcohol was very likely a contributing factor.

The Illinois River Area Volunteer Fire Department, United Keetoowah Light Horseman, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Tahlequah Fire Department Search and Rescue and Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission responded to the incident.

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