By Bonita Wilborn
On Friday, February 22, 2019 three teens were riding in a Jeep and attempted to cross the bridge at Matheny’s Creek in Buck’s Pocket State Park. Due to high flood waters from recent rain, the bridge was underwater, and the current was so fast the Jeep was swept off the bridge into South Sauty Creek. The bridge is located where the DeKalb, Jackson, and Marshall County lines meet.
According to Macedonia Fire Chief, Jimmy Jones, the bridge typically floods during heavy rainfall. “While there are no warning signs around the bridge, it’s just a known fact not to cross the bridge when it’s flooded like this,” Jones said.
Jones said a male and female in their late teens were rescued by crews after they were found yelling for help while holding on to a tree in flood waters. Both were rescued, taken to the hospital, and treated for hypothermia. They are expected to make a complete recovery, but the third passenger in the Jeep is still missing. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has identified the missing 18-year-old as Koy Spears.
The teens reportedly live near the area and where the vehicle was swept into the creek.
Rescue crews from DeKalb, Marshall, and Jackson counties began searching for the missing teen around 8:00pm that night. Jones said crews could not search in the water except on the lake side where the water was calmer because the current was moving too fast. They were able to search the banks, but Spears nor the Jeep were located.
As long as the weather cooperates, they plan to continue searching until they find him.
Marshall County Sheriff’s office had a helicopter and drones assisting in the search on Saturday and Sunday, with no luck finding the missing teen.
After searching the bank and the shallow water close to the bank, the search was suspended until such time as it is safe for divers to go into the water. At press time, the recovery effort was expected to resume Tuesday, February 26.
Koy’s family is asking people in the area to search abandoned buildings, thinking he may have looked for shelter in the weather. Our prayers go out to the family and friends of Koy Spears, as well as the other teens that have already been rescued.