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Orleans Man Drowns At Williams Dam

Last updated on Monday, June 18, 2012

(ORLEANS) - Indiana Conservation officers are investigating the drowning death of 53-year-old Keith Sons, of Orleans.

Sons died in the White River near Williams late Sunday night.

Police were called to the Spice Valley public access site at around 11:50 p.m., after a reports that a man had disappeared below the surface and the water.

The drowning occurred while Sons was attempting to load his boat onto the trailer at the Spice Valley boat ramp. Sons's boat, truck, and trailer were also submerged in the river near the ramp when officers arrived.

According to a Lawrence County Police Department report by Michael Wheelock, Maurica Sons, Keith's wife, told him that her husband, the boat and trailer, and truck all went into the water while he tried to load the boat. Maurica also went into the water, but made it to shore. They weren't wearing life jackets.

She told Wheelock her husband was about half way out in the water when she last saw him.

Maurica said her husband was a good swimmer, but had been drinking alcohol earlier in the day.

Police said Sons' boat had started floating toward the dam, police. After police arrived at the scene, a man and woman in another boat were told to drop the boat's anchor.

Jahn, a diver with the DNR, recovered Sons' body about 25 feet from the ramp in 11 feet of water. The recovery was made at 1:50 a.m.

Sons was unresponsive when Jahn brought him to the surface.

Mikels Wrecker personnel and the conservation officers assisted with the recovery of the truck and trailer, according to the police report. Jahn told police the boat would remain on the water until today, when it would be recovered.

Conservation officer Ryan Jahn says exactly how Sons ended up in the water is still under investigation.

Officer Ryan Jahn, who is also a diver, recovered Sons's body at 1:50 a.m., approximately 30 feet from the ramp in 11 feet of water.

The Williams Volunteer Fire Department, the Lawrence County Coroner's office, and IU Health ambulance service were also on scene.

The Spice Valley Boat ramp is located above Williams Dam near Williams.

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