User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


47° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Unofficial Search Continues Daily For Woman Lost In Flood

July 14, 2014, 11:23 PM by Kevin Woster

Unofficial Search Continues Daily For Woman Lost In Flood
NEWELL, SD -

It's been a month since a 24-year-old Colorado woman disappeared in a flash flood that swamped part of Highway 85 north of Newell.

The full-scale searches for Kristen Lakin are long finished. but the county sheriff and local ranchers say the hunt for her body will continue.

"About any time you go out, you know, either horseback or on a four-wheeler, if you get down next to the river, if that's where you're traveling, you're always looking," Butte rancher Randy Fox said. He lives along the South Moreau River about 12 miles downstream from the accident site.

Laking and 57-year-old Roxanne Bleibaum hit raging water on a late-night drive south on Highway 85 on June 17. The two were returning from jobs in the North Dakota oil fields. Swollen Battle Creek hadn't topped the highway since a grade was built in 1965. But it swamped their vehicle and cast them adrift in the dark, cold water.

Bleibaum survived after a rough, wet night struggling in the water and debris. She was walking back to Highway 85 early the next morning when spotted and helped by a highway worker. Lakin is presumed dead. She and Bleibaum were together for a time in the water, but soon becames separated.

Butte County Sheriff Fred Lamphere says he's never seen such water hit his county. A powerful rainstorm with high winds stalled in the drainage upstream from Highway 85, sending a deluge toward the highway. Lamphere said the woman were having trouble driving in the severe rain and wind and hit water that was coming over the highway.

He said they climbed up on the vehicle and held onto the luggage rack but eventually were swept downstream with the strong current.

Standing at the site Monday, Lamphere said the dry highway ditch and gently blowing grasses were deceiving.

"It looks pretty peaceful , but I can tell you that night it was the kind of violent water that I've never seen," he said. "It was just like a white-water river going down through there."

An all-out search for several days after the accident failed to locate Lakin. Ranchers continue to look as they go about their regular chores. But the flood left debris strewn for miles, across wide river bottoms thick with vegetation. A body could be anywhere and while it's a difficult search, it won't be abandoned entirely.

Like Fox, Lamphere said he wants to find Lakin, no matter how long it takes. Many other ranchers, emergency personnel and volunteer searchers feel the same, he said.

"You know, I've got kids that are right at that age group," Lamphere said. "A lot of our responders have kids in that, and family members. And there isn't a one of us that don't want to help this family find her, and put closure to it."

Lampher says volunteers interested in helping with the ongoing search should check with his office or other authorities first.  Most of the ground is private and has dangerous debris piles and caving river and stream banks.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





Sponsored
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

ISIS 'Kill List' Said To Include Target In Rapid City

3/24/2015 2:30 PM

CBS News confirms ISIS has a target in South Dakota.

Full Story
Family: Crow Creek BIA Superintendent Stabbed At His Office

3/25/2015 4:36 PM

An investigation is underway into the stabbing of the Crow Creek BIA Superintendent.

Full Story
Empire Mall Burger King Closes

3/22/2015 2:30 PM

The Burger King inside The Empire Mall in Sioux Falls is closing Sunday, March 22.

Full Story
Four Arrested On Drug Charges, Accused Of Making Hashish Oil

3/23/2015 1:32 PM

Four people are accused of making drugs just a block away from from the Clay County sheriff's office.

Full Story
Huron Man Dies In Rollover Crash

3/22/2015 11:42 AM

A Huron man was killed Saturday morning in a rollover crash at the intersection of 216th Street and SD Highway 45 in Hand County, near Miller.

Full Story


Events