Teenager drowns in Delaware County creek

Monday, May 22nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WEST SILOAM SPRINGS, Okla. (AP) -- Authorities have identified a Delaware County drowning victim as Derek John Yoakum, 17, of Watts.

The Oklahoma Lake Patrol said the drowning occurred while Yoakum was swimming in Flint Creek on the New Life Ranch near the Arkansas border.

Authorities were notified about 2:15 p.m. Sunday of the drowning about four miles west of West Siloam Springs.

Deputy Robert Rogers said the body was pulled from the water by Siloam Springs, Arkansas firefighters at about 3:30 p.m. The victim was found in 12 feet of water, about six feet from shore.

Yoakum was riding four-wheelers with a brother and friend when the three decided to swim in the creek, Rogers said.

One of the boys told authorities that the victim appeared to behaving trouble staying afloat before he drowned.

"In the creek at that point, there are slippery rocks and then a deep drop-off in the water," Rogers said. "We don't know if it was the undertow that got him or what."