Updated 04.02.19

Officials with the Grand River Dam Authority Police Department have identified the man who drowned early Sunday, March 31, in the Neosho River.

The man, Blake Austin Williams, 31 of Fairland, was recovered at approximately 7:30 a.m., Sunday near Conner's Bridge boat ramp.

According to information released by Justin Alberty, spokesman for GRDA, at approximately 2:30 a.m., Sunday, Josie Stovall, 27, was the driver of a Dodge truck which went down the Conners’ boat ramp and into the water.

Williams entered the water to rescue Stovall. Alberty said Williams was successful in aiding Stovall back to the shore, but was unable to get out of the water and drowned. 

Alberty said Stovall was arrested by GRDA Police for driving under the influence and booked into the Ottawa County Jail. The incident remains under investigation. 

Original story from 04.01.19

The body of a man was recovered from the Neosho River about 7:20 a.m. Sunday, March 31, by members Grand River Dam Authority Police near Connor’s Bridge, north of Fairland.

According to GRDA Spokesman Justin Alberty, GRDA Police, Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputies and The Quapaw Nation Fire and EMS responded to a 911 call at the bridge on 590 Road North of Fairland at approximately 2:36 a.m., Sunday.

The call was for an occupied vehicle in the water. The vehicle had been parked on the boat ramp.

According to the report, the female driver backed the vehicle into the Neosho and a male tried to stop the car from going in the water.

Both occupants were struggling in the cold water. The victim was able to get the driver to the shore, where other bystanders help pull her to safety.

However, the man was unable to get out of the water and drowned.

The woman, was transported by emergency personnel to INTEGRIS Miami Hospital in Miami.  

Alberty said GRDA Police recovered his body about 20 feet downstream from the boat ramp.