- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

CALEDONIA, Miss. (AP) - An Ethelsville, Alabama, man has died following a Memorial Day drowning incident in the Buttahatchie River in Lowndes County.

Oscar Ponds, 59, was pronounced dead at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle at about 12:28 a.m. Tuesday, Coroner Greg Merchant tells The Commercial Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1mn2YI7).

Another person was also transported there but neither his name nor condition was released.

Authorities said Ponds and a handful of family members were spending the day at Lawrence Bridge, a popular swimming spot near Caledonia. At about 3:45 p.m. Monday, one of the family members “got in trouble” with the river’s undertow near a boat ramp and several others tried to help.

Ponds was pulled beneath the water’s surface. Merchant said witnesses told investigators Ponds remained submerged for roughly nine minutes before being pulled to safety.



Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Marc Miley said someone on scene performed CPR while emergency responders made their way to the scene. Ponds was transported to the hospital where he later died.

In a separate, unrelated incident Monday an 11-year-old boy was flown to University Medical Center in Jackson.

Anthony Colom with Columbus Fire and Rescue said that three young boys were swimming in the Tombigbee River near the Columbus Riverwalk shortly after 12 p.m. Monday. Two of them made it back to shore. The 11-year-old did not, according to Colom.

Two wildlife officers in the area and the two boys flagged them down. One of the officers went into the river and, after going under three times, found the child and pulled him to safety. Columbus Fire and Rescue responded to the scene.

Colom, who did not identify the boy, said he was initially taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, where it was decided that he should be flown to Jackson, where he remained in the hospital Tuesday.

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Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, https://www.cdispatch.com

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