June 27, 2007 Edition

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Eugene Bailey Jr.

Hoxie boy dies in
accident at Black River

Gretchen Hunt

A freak accident claimed the life of a 14-year-old Hoxie boy Monday night, according to Sgt. Stan Finley of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department.

Finley said Eugene Bailey Jr. was climbing a bluff on the Black River, near the Powhatan Courthouse, when a large rock he was grasping came loose. Bailey fell to the bottom of the bluff and the rock fell, landing on him.

A 911 call came into the county dispatch center at 8:10 p.m. from the boy's father, Eugene Bailey Sr. Apparently Bailey and his little brother, who is 11, were fishing when the older boy's line broke. He was climbing back up the bluff when the accident occurred.

Finley said it took three men, a sheriff's deputy and two Black Rock firefighters, to lift the rock off Bailey. When first responders arrived, he was unresponsive.

"They worked on him forever, but never could get him back," Finley said.

He was transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital by Arkansas Excellent Transport, where he was pronounced dead by Dr. Harold Cranford.

Others responding to the call included Air Evac and the Walnut Ridge Fire Department.

Bailey, who is the son of Eugene Sr. and Mary Bailey and the late Sarah Bailey, had just completed his seventh grade year at Hoxie School.

A visitation will be held Thursday evening from 5-8 at House-Gregg Funeral Home in Walnut Ridge. Graveside services will be Friday at 2 p.m. at Old Lebanon Cemetery at Eaton.

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