BEECH CREEK, W.Va. – The body of a Logan County man who had been missing since Wednesday evening was pulled from the Tug River on Friday afternoon.
The body of 46-year-old Roy Toler Jr. of Elk Creek near Man, W.Va. was located by cadaver dogs approximately 25 feet from the Kentucky side of the river and approximately 150 yards from where he was last seen.
Friday marked the third day dive teams and water rescue teams from Mingo, Logan and Pike Counties have been in and on the water searching for the man.
The search was called off Wednesday night due to darkness.
Search crews were back out on the river early Thursday morning, unfortunately the search had to be suspended again, this time due to stormy weather.
Beech Creek Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tommy Cottle said the family was notified by officials at the fire department.
Cottle said, “We feel sorry for the family, they do have closure, but no one wants to be a bearer of bad news.”
Chief Cottle said there were eight boats, approximate 20 searchers from Logan and Kermit Dive teams, Belfry, Elkhorn City, Phelps and Prestonsburg Fire Departments and two cadaver dogs from Kentucky in addition to members of the Beech Creek Volunteer Fire Department. Cottle wanted to thank all the agencies involved in the search and recovery of the body. He went on to say, “without the help of all the departments working together, this would’ve never happened.”
“As emergency responders, situations like this are particularly difficult. You pray for the best and prepare for the worse. The only hope is you can give a family closure,” said one firefighter.
The body will be transported to the State Medical Examiner office in Frankfort, Ky. to determine cause of death.
According to The National Weather Service, flooding is a coast to coast threat to the United States and its territories nearly every day of the year.
During a flood, water levels and the rate the water is flowing can quickly change.
Flooding along rivers is a natural and inevitable part of life. Some floods occur seasonally when winter or spring rains, coupled with melting snow fill river basins with too much water too quickly.
Flooding that leads to drowning usually occurs during flash-flood conditions.
Flash floods are those that develop within six hours of a rain storm. That may sound like a lot of time, but severe flash floods can occur in a matter of minutes, depending on the intensity and duration of the rain, the topography of an area, and the condition of the soil and ground cover.
Nearly half of all flash-flood fatalities are vehicle-related. The majority of victims are males, but flood deaths affect people of both sexes and all age groups.
Anyone who has witnessed a flash flood can testify to the devastating power of fast-rushing water. Flash floods can roll boulders, uproot trees, destroy buildings and bridges, carry away vehicles and create deep new channels in the earth. Rapidly rising water can reach heights of 30 feet or more.
Kendra Mahon is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 304-235-4242 ext 2278.