Local law enforcement agencies worked together Saturday morning to locate a missing Jonesboro man who was eventually found deceased in floodwaters.
“This was a senseless and tragic incident,” Sheriff David Lucas said Saturday afternoon.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received the call for assistance around 7:36 a.m. The Arkansas State Police requested the agency assistance after receiving a call from an employee of Red River Pharmacy Services in Jonesboro. According to the sheriff’s office records, the caller stated that one of their delivery drivers, Loyd Cockrell, left Friday evening to make a delivery to the White River Medical Center in Batesville. The driver never made the delivery and the last location the company had on the vehicle, a white 2013 Toyota Corolla, was at 6:13 p.m. on Highway 37 near Elgin.
Responding agencies included the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police and Independence County Sheriff’s Office. At approximately 8:26 a.m. the Independence County Sheriff’s Office advised they had located the vehicle and found the body of Cockrell, 76, still in the vehicle deceased.
“It was determined that as Mr. Cockrell was traveling west on Highway 37, he disregarded and drove around three road closed barricades,” Sheriff Lucas explained. “His vehicle was swept away by the high water.”
Highway 37 had been closed as the Black River rose to flood the area during this month’s heavy rain. Cockrell’s vehicle was located by Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens approximately 50 yards into a field. It appeared he had just crossed into Independence County from Jackson County before being swept off the road.
“Every year, law enforcement has to perform multiple water rescues or recoveries due to individuals disregarding the barricades. Please heed and do not disregard these warnings,” Lucas advised. “It is for your own safety and the safety of the officers that have to risk their lives when you disregard the barricades.”