4/21/2017 10:30:00 AM Hutsonville man dies of drowning in pond accident
A Crawford County Rescue Squad diver prepares to search an area pointed out by searchers (in the CCR boat) in an old gravel-pit pond south of Hutsonville. Torrence A. Stevens, 59, Hutsonville, slipped under the water Wednesday afternoon while trying to recover a small pontoon boat from the pond. Illinois Department of Natural Resources conservation officers aided CCR with the search along with Crawford County Sheriff’s deputies, Hutsonville Fire Department and United Life Care Ambulance Service. (Tom Compton photo)
A Hutsonville man drowned while trying to recover a boat from his pond Wednesday afternoon.
According to initial reports, Torrence A. Stevens, 59, Hutsonville, and his wife were trying to recover a mini-pontoon boat from a small pond he owned in the old gravel pit area south of Hutsonville at 16724 E. 1700th St. (River Road).
When the boat started floating back and away from a trail-tractor, Stevens wife told sheriff's deputies she could not hold on to the rope, and Stevens went into the water to try and recover it. When the boat reached deeper water, Stevens, fully clothed, tried to swim, became tired and slipped under the water.
Crawford County dispatch was notified at 2:34 p.m. and United Life Care Ambulance Service, Crawford County Rescue divers, Hutsonville Fire Department and Crawford County Sheriff's Department were all called to the scene. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation officers and Illinois State Police later arrived on scene to assist.
Unfortunately after an initial search of the area, Stevens was not found and recovery efforts were put into action. Crawford County Rescue and IDNR used boats with sonar to locate Stevens, and CCR divers recovered his body after about three hours of search.
Crawford County Coroner Earl Deckard pronounced Stevens dead at 6:18 p.m., at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for this afternoon in Terre Haute.
The case is being investigated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.