|Updated: 7/02/2012 3:17 pm
||Published: 7/02/2012 3:16 pm
An Arkansas man drowned in the Illinois River on Saturday after rescuing his daughter.
The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission released a statement about the drowning of 42-year old Michael Wheaton, Sr. of Gentry, Arkansas. Officials say Wheaton was at Carnes Ford, a low water road crossing on the Illinois River near Watts on Saturday night.
Witnesses told officials Wheaton’s 7-year old daughter was wading in the river and stepped into a deep area and yelled for help. Witnesses say he got the little girl to safety, but he started having trouble. Several people in the area got into the water to help him and pulled him to the shore.
Wheaton was pronounced dead at a Siloam Springs hospital. Officials say no lifejackets were in use.