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Youth drowns in Marion County flash flood

by Darlene J. Taylor

STAFF WRITER

HOPEWELL -- A 10-year-old Ohio boy visiting relatives drowned in a flooded creek near their Hopewell home Saturday afternoon in Marion County.

Marion County Sheriff Junior Slaughter said the boy and his three brothers, ages 8, 7 and 3, were playing along a small creek when a flash flood caused it to overflow its banks and sweep the children into the water. An adult relative was with the children, Slaughter said.

"The relative and neighbors were able to rescue the three youngest children," Slaughter said. "One male adult rescuer and two of the children were transported to the hospital."

Their conditions was unknown Saturday evening.

The victim and his siblings were visiting their aunt at the time of the accident, said Marion County Deputy Fred Frederick.

Slaughter said law enforcement and emergency personnel had difficulties getting to the site because rising waters had also covered the roadway.

All volunteer fire departments in Marion County were called to the scene, as were the Marion County Divers and Water Rescue, TRISAR Search and Rescue and divers from Winfield and Grafton volunteer fire departments, Slaughter said. Neighbors also assisted with the rescue, he said.

"Sometimes Marion County residents don't realize the work volunteers do. They do a terrific job and are not compensated for it," said Slaughter. "We are fortunate to have them in this county and region."

The boy's body was found by Marion County Divers and Water Rescue diver Brian Toothman about a half-mile from the site where he went into the water, Slaughter said.

The identities of the children were not released pending notification of family members in Brookshire, Ohio.

Severe weather caused flash floods, power outages and uprooted trees throughout the region Saturday.

Staff writer Darlene J. Taylor can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at dtaylor@exponent-telegram.com.