Men drown in Duck River Friday

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

By Karen Hall


Two men from Shelbyville drowned in the Duck River at Henry Horton State Park on Friday.

They were David Carraza, 29, and Cesar Basurto Armenta, 26, according to the websites of the Times Gazette newspaper and a Nashville TV station.

According to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officer Doug Lowery, the men were members of a larger group, who were at the river to fish and enjoy themselves on the Fourth of July.

Lowery said five or six people were "just in the river, playing and swimming.

"It gets deep out in the middle there," he continued. The two who drowned "probably panicked" when they found they were in over their heads, and "obviously couldn't swim."

The rest of the group made it to the banks of the river and raised the alarm, but, since they were Hispanic, an interpreter had to be found before people could understand what they were saying.

"We had plenty of help," Lowery said. Among those who responded were the Marshall and Maury County Emergency Management Agencies, the Chapel Hill and Farmington Rich Creek Fire Departments, the Emergency Medical Service, and the Park Rangers.

EMA Director Steve Callahan said the call came in around 2:30 p.m. and they were at the river until after 6 p.m.

"It's a tragic, tragic situation," he said. "It's a beautiful river, but it's a wicked old river."

Lowery agreed with him, stating, "It's dangerous because you can't see the bottom, there are currents, and debris you can get caught up in. It's one of those places you really have to use caution."

One body was recovered about 100 yards downstream, and the other was "pretty close to where he went down," Lowery said.

Both have been sent to Nashville for autopsy, said Justin Whitsett of the EMS, and the results are not expected back for 10 or 12 weeks.