Double Drowning At Keystone Lake

Friday, September 21st 2007, 4:08 pm
By: News On 6

A tragic accident at Keystone Lake kills a Claremore couple. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol believes the husband and wife drowned, while trying to launch their pontoon boat into the lake. It happened Friday afternoon in an arm of Keystone Lake, just north of Mannford. The News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports friends of the victims say the couple launched that boat hundreds of times over the years, so it is hard for them to believe that this is what took their lives.

Tragedy washed away a picture perfect day at Keystone Lake for the folks at Akdar Shrine Park. Friday afternoon Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers arrived on the scene to find an empty boat bobbing in the water, still tethered to a submerged pickup truck. Witnesses told police they heard a scream and a splash.

"They say they went over just as the vehicle was going under. One of them entered the water in an attempt to make a rescue. They found the female victim inside the truck. They got her out and did CPR but to no avail," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Tony Richardson.

The woman, 77-year-old Jean Busby, was pronounced dead at the scene. It took the Army Corps of Engineers dragging the lake and a dive team to recover the second body, Louis Busby, 79.

OHP troopers believe the couple was trying to launch the boat into the water when something went wrong. Folks who've been camping with the couple for years were shocked.

"This is something they're very experienced at,” Shriner and Park Director Mike Underwood said. “I think that's what makes this more of a shocker than anyone. That man has put more boats down this boat ramp then anyone out here."

Friends and fellow Shriners say the victims helped build this park into what it is today.

"Yes, they did, especially him. He spent a lot of hours out here working, and this is probably his favorite places in the United States," said Mike Underwood.

A small crowd gathered at the banks of the lake to watch the slow rise of their friend's truck from its watery grave. Seeing it break the surface, memories of weekends long past kept bubbling up.

"They loved it. I guess if you gotta go home to the Lord, doing what you do, at the place where you want to be, I guess if there's a positive side to it,” Underwood said.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is still investigating what exactly caused the Busby’s truck to go into the water.

Troopers would like to remind folks they offer a free boating safety courses. To learn more click here.

Watch the video: Couple Drowns In Bizarre Accident