Man warns of spillway danger

Tuesday, August 1st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

KANSAS, Okla. (AP) -- The owner of a water park says the state should place warning signs near a local spillway where a teen-ager drowned recently. Authorities said there have been three drownings reported at the spillway in 20 years. Two occurred several years ago and involved people who had been drinking.

The most recent drowning happened June 24 when Stephan Seauve, 15, of Siloam Springs, Ark., was wading on a small dam on Flint Creek, four miles east of Kansas, Okla. He lost his balance and was washed over the dam, the Oklahoma Lake Patrol said. "The day before the accident, I called the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission office four times, requesting that signs be put up to warn amateur swimmers," said Ron Fidler, owner of Flint Creek Water Park. "In fact, I told them, someone was going to drown." Fidler said the state owns the dam and the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission governs it, so it is their responsibility.

Commission Administrator Ed Fite said the dam does not belong to the commission and is not the agency's responsibility. The commission has asked the state attorney general's office to determine if it is responsible for placing warning signs along the dam. Fidler said he is placing warning signs on his property, which is adjacent to the spillway, but he has no authority to put up signs on the spillway itself.