Five drownings in southern Illinois since May

Four people have died as a result of drownings in southern Illinois since May 2011.
Four people have died as a result of drownings in southern Illinois since May 2011.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Five people have died as a result of drownings in southern Illinois since May 2011.

In May, a 26-year-old man died after swimming in the old West Frankfort Lake in Franklin County. The Franklin County Coroner Marty Leffler says Leslie Harvey of Benton, Illinois died from swimming in the cold water temperatures.

On June 30th divers found the body of 19-year-old Cantreal Brown in eight feet of water off South Sandusky Beach at Rend Lake.

Then on July 9th 62-year-old Terrell Abernathy went into water at Rend Lake and never made it out alive. Abernathy's daughter told authorities that the lake was very rough and that her dad was headed toward the beach.

On Saturday night, authorities in Franklin County respond to the third drowning in Franklin County in less than three weeks and the fourth drowning since May.

41-year-old Randy Williams of Johnston City was swimming in a private farm pond near the intersection of Garrett's Prairie and Neilson Roads in West Frankfort, according to the coroner.

Witnesses told police that Mr. Williams was swimming with a 13-year-old male, whose parents were watching from shore. The thirteen-year-olds mother reportedly told the child it was time to get out of the pond.

The mother told police she saw Williams go under water and after several minutes he did not resurface.

No foul play is expected and the coroner is calling this a case of accidental drowning.

Alcohol is considered a possible factor in the drowning., but authorities won't know for sure until toxicology results are available, likely in three to four weeks.

The latest drowning was early Sunday morning where Craig Andrew Stevens, 43, of Herrin was found in his pool due to drowning, according to the Williamson County Coroner. The incident is under investigation.

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