Camper dragged downstream, tossed over Jackson Falls

Man saved after being pulled into raging river in Pope County, IL

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Floodwaters from Wednesday night's rainfall in the Ohio River valley dragged a camper and his tent down a river and over a waterfall.

It happened at Jackson Falls in the middle of the Shawnee National Forest around 1 a.m. on Thursday, July, 7.

Three campers from Murfreesboro, Tenn. were asleep in their tent when the rising waters tore their tent out of the ground and dragged it downstream.

Two of the individuals escaped unharmed according to Pope County Sheriff Jerry Suits, but the third man was pulled through the rapids and over a roughly 30 foot plunge.

"It took a couple hours to find him out there," Suits said. "You know, it was dark, 1 or 2 in the morning, and we had to get search and rescue crews out there who had the proper training to find him."

Emergency crews found the man whose name was not being released for personal reasons as of Thursday, and had to throw a rope to him to retrieve him from floodwaters.

The following day, items from the campsite including the group's tent, a sleeping bag, and a sleeping mat could be found caught in the trees near and in the river.

"I hope he's alright, and it's definitely something to keep in mind so it doesn't happen to me," said hiker James Triplett the following day. "And hopefully we can get the word out so nobody else gets hurt."

The sheriff said the camper was taken to a local hospital for what he said appeared to be serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

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