BOLLINGER COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - A rainy weekend caused flash flooding in Bollinger County, and turned a weekend trip to grandma’s house into a tragedy for one Heartland family.
A swift current pushed an SUV off a low bridge on Bollinger County Road 356 near the “Little Whitewater River.”
Dozens of emergency personnel were searching up and down the flooded creek for the family on Saturday, Nov. 30.
The hilly area has a lot of low water crossings and is about about 5 miles southeast of Patton, Missouri.
Jason Yount, a volunteer firefighter with North Bollinger County fire department, grew up in the area and was one of the first people to start searching for the lost family.
He said the bridge in question floods often, and on Saturday had about 3-4 feet of water over the road.
“The water on the bridge was so swift I thought, ‘Oh my gosh who in their right mind would try and cross it?’ I couldn’t believe it,” Yount said. “Angela Thompson and her boyfriend spotted the vehicle in the river with one of the boys on top. They called the Bollinger County Sheriff’s Department and it all fell in place.”
A handful of fire departments and the Missouri State Highway Patrol joined the search and rescue effort.
Sergeant Clark Parrott with MSHP said 8-year-old Kayden, of Scott City, and five-year-old Brantley, of Scott City, died in the incident.
The driver Jacob A. Luttrull, 33, of Sedgewickville, Mo., and a two-year-old boy, were injured.
The two-year-old boy was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital with serious injuries, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report. He was released from the hospital on Monday, December 2.
Luttrull was taken by ambulance to a Cape Girardeau hospital.
Yount happens to be the great uncle to Kayden and Brantley. He remembers spending a lot of time with the two boys on their grandmother’s property and said the entire family is heartbroken by the loss.
“It’s sad that they’re gone, but we’re just trying to keep the memories,” Yount said. “Them boys loved helping me and dad cut wood and hull wood. They loved riding their bikes out here. We have all of their play toys. We think about them, even though they’re not with us.”
Yount wants other families to take the risk of driving through flooded roads seriously.
“Turn around," Yount said. "Go another direction, so that they don’t lose their loved ones and have to go through such a tragic thing.”
A gofundme page has been started for the family.
Their funeral services were made with Liley Funeral Home in Patton, Mo.
The family and Luttrull’s Ford Explorer were found in the water between the low-water bridge on 356, and the B Highway Bridge.
According to fire officials, North Bollinger County, Woodland, Whitewater, Millersville, Cape Girardeau, Jackson, and Sikeston fire departments were at the scene of the first incident.
Scott City officials offered their condolences.
Cape Girardeau Fire Department sent three boats with their technical team to assist, and flew drones to help search.
“The boats were great," Yount said. "The side-by-sides came in handy for rescuing Jake and getting him and the baby out of there.”
This was the second water rescue in the area.
A man drowned after his truck was found upside down in the water on Bollinger County Road 234.