ATV outing at Magby Creek turns tragic, two children feared drowned

May 18, 2013 7:56:48 PM

Sarah Fowler - [email protected]


Update 5/19/2013 9:34 PM: The body found earlier this evening has been identified by Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant as that of six-year-old Jacob Brown. 


Update 5/19/2013 6:36 PM: The body of one of the children has been recovered from Luxapalila Creek. Fire Chief Kenneth More said the search and rescue team located the body approximately one mile downstream from where the accident occurred. Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant said the body was located just after 5 p.m. Sunday. Merchant is currently working with family members to identify the child. Firefighters are still searching the waters for the other missing boy. 


Previously: Two children are missing and presumed drowned after their ATV flipped in Magby Creek on Saturday afternoon. 


A friend of the family said the boys' names are Justin and Jacob Brown. A person who identified himself as an uncle of the children said the boys' ages were 7 and 10. 


Law enforcement officials said the boys were riding on an off-road vehicle with their father and three other passengers when the ATV flipped just before 3 p.m. They said the group of six was riding a Polaris ATV over the spillway where Magby Creek meets the Luxapalila Creek when the current became swift and washed the ATV into the Luxapalila, throwing the six passengers into the rushing water.  


Fire Chief Kenneth Moore said Columbus Fire and Rescue had an eight-member rescue team in two boats running sonar equipment in an effort to locate the children. Moore said the current was too swift for divers to be used. 


A command center was set up at the Sprint Mart gas station and convenience store on the corner of Highway 82 and Gardner Blvd., where law enforcement personnel from both the city and county gathered to help search for the two boys. 


The boys' mother, identified as Kristy Brown, was at work when the accident occurred and arrived on scene where she was comforted by friends and family. Small groups of people embraced and cried as the search continued until dark. 


One of the female passengers on the ATV was reportedly transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle for an injury to her foot but was treated and released. 


The search for the boys was suspended at nightfall Saturday as efforts moved from a rescue to recovery. 


As of press time Saturday evening, the bodies had not been recovered.

Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.