Two drown after truck runs into water-filled ditch

News-DemocratJanuary 12, 2014 

Two people drowned early Sunday after the truck they were traveling in ran off the road and overturned in a water-filled ditch in Clinton County.

Christopher Harper, 20, of St. Rose, and Josie Lee Walker, 18, died after a crash on Airport Road near New Memphis and Damiansville, said Clinton County Coroner Phil Moss.

Harper lost control of the truck, causing it to overturn into the ditch, which was full of water from snowmelt, Moss said. The road had water on it from melting snow and may have caused Harper to lose control, Moss said.

Emergency personnel arrived at the scene about 1:45 a.m. Sunday, Moss said. Crews worked for 30 minutes trying to extricate the two from thecab of the truck, Moss said. Both were wearing their seatbelts in the overturned truck.

"They were in about 3 1/2 feet of water," Moss said.

The two suffered minor injuries from the crash, but were in the frigid water for at least an hour before crews were able to pull them from the car, Moss said.

In an effort to revive Harper and Walker, they were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese. Harper died at the hospital at 4:08 a.m. Walker died four minutes later.

Walker was a senior at Breese Central High School. Her funeral arrangements are pending

Visitation for Harper will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Moss Funeral Home in Breese. A funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday at St. Rose Catholic Church in St. Rose.

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