Van Buren man drowns in LeFlore County; 3 year old hospitalized


LEFLORE COUNTY, Okla. (KNWA/KFTA) — A man died after falling into Long Lake, about two miles south of Poteau Oklahoma, on Friday afternoon, August 21 at about 3:45 p.m., and a young child was taken to the hospital, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP).

Marlon Alexander Garcia, 45, from Van Buren died at the scene, according to the medical examiner. He was the man operating the vessel, according to OHP.

A three-year-old boy from Van Buren was transported to Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith because of water inhalation, according to OHP.

Four other passengers on the boat were not injured: a female, 36, two 16-year-old males, a seven-year-old girl — all are from Van Buren, according to OHP.

Authorities don’t know why the boat was stationary, but a three-year-old child fell overboard and into the water.

Garcia jumped in to save the child but struggled in doing so. Then one of the teens jumped into the water, rescued the child and they returned to the boat. It was then the teen noticed Garcia did not resurface, according to the OHP report.

Agencies that also assisted in the incident were LeFlore County Sheriff’s Office, Poteau Fire Department and LeFlore County EMS.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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