Eufaula Lake Residents Remember Diving Victim and Warn Others of the Danger

Wednesday, September 1st 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Some Eufaula folks are taking action after a young boy died in a swimming accident.
An 11 year old lost his life when he jumped off a cliff in 1996 at Carr Creek which runs into Lake Eufaula. Relatives and friends haven't forgotten, and want to send a message to others. A headstone and flowers sit high above the water on a cliff where a little boy once stood.
Johnny Dean Linton was 11 years old when he jumped off a cliff three years ago and never surfaced. Kent Dunlap, Park Ranger: "Inadvertantly one of the other children jumped off before he had gotten out of the way in the water and struck him and as a result he lost his life." So family members made signs and posted one on the cliff and another in an area nearby. Dunlap says he believes they'll help.
Dunlap: "If it stops one of them from doing this and drowning or being seriously hurt as a result then they've had a tremendous effect." Dunlap says he hopes people will read the signs and think twice before jumping off a cliff. He says it's not unusual for people to do this type of thing, as a matter of fact, he says it's an ongoing problem for many lakes. But he hopes the signs will make a difference."
Boy scouts are pitching in to help the family place signs around the lake.
Bill Kent was a classmate of Johnny's.
"The loss of Johnny and a dear friend was more than enough reason to try to help out and keep people from making the same mistakes." Johnny's grandparents say kids will be kids. But that doesn't mean they can't try to reach out to them. Mary Edwards, Grandmother: "We hope some kids will pay attention to it, but we know not all kids pay attention to signs." They say the signs won't stop everyone from taking the plunge... but they hope they'll make people look before they leap. The scouts will place ten signs around Lake Eufaula and Carr creek before the holiday weekend.