OREGON COUNTY -- A Sheridan, Ark., man, Billy Joe Florence, 43, died due to drowning with alcohol contributing while tubing on the Eleven Point River May 24, according to Oregon County Sheriff Tim Ward.
Florence, along with family and friends were floating on tubes on the Eleven Point River near Stubblefield Access when he suffered a seizure and went under the water at 2:11 p.m., Ward said.
Ward said at first, the people with him thought he was acting and not really drowning. "They pulled him from the water about the time I arrived. He was revived and got his pulse back," the sheriff said.
Ward said Florence was taken by air ambulance to Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center in Poplar Bluff. Ward said weather conditions kept the air ambulance from going to a Springfield hospital.
The sheriff said after Florence arrived at the hospital he developed a bleeding disorder often associated with seizures and was unhooked from life support at 10:20 a.m., May 19, and died shortly after.
Ward said he was assisted in the rescue by the Mammoth Spring Ambulance Service and the Oregon County Ambulance Service and officers with the Missouri Water Patrol.
Two 16-year old juveniles ran away from the Master's Ranch Christian Academy May 18.
According to Ward, the pair, a hispanic male from Los Angeles, Calif., and a caucasian male from Detroit, Mich., left the ranch located on KK Highway on bicycles and were located eight miles east of Thayer on Highway 142.
Ward said they were returned to the ranch and referred to juvenile authorities.