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76-yo drowns attempting to save daughter


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    CAMERON, Oklahoma (KFSM) — Divers found the bodies of two drowning victims, a father and his daughter, Wednesday (March 3) night in a LeFlore County pond.

The victims have been identified as 76-year-old Billie Carpenter and his daughter, 43-year-old Auraha Pipkins, both of Cameron, Okla.

Officials said Carpenter and Pipkins pulled up to a private pond north of Cameron late Wednesday afternoon.

The vehicle slipped into gear when Carpenter got out of the vehicle and went into the water.

Carpenter then dove in to save his daughter who was still in the vehicle, and neither resurfaced.

Another family member jumped in to help but didn’t make it in time.

911 received a call around 4:50 p.m. Wednesday, and multiple agencies went out to the land in hopes of rescuing the father and daughter.

Unfortunately, the two didn’t make it, and the bodies were pulled from the water a few hours later Wednesday night.

LeFlore County Sheriff Rodney Derryberry said one of the victims was found in the vehicle, the other was found near it.

It was a tragedy for everyone involved, including first responders, because the victims have family in law enforcement.

Sheriff Derryberry spoke with 5NEWS about the tragedy and the toll it’s taking on the whole community.

He said one of the best parts of living in a small town is knowing everyone, but in situations like this, it makes it ten times harder, especially on law enforcement and others who responded to the accident.

Derryberry said the incident is still under investigation but believed to be an accident.

“Anytime you have family members or someone that’s lost in the blink of an eye, it changes everyone’s life. It affects the family, the responders and the people on the scene, so it’s big it’s a loss,” said Derryberry. “You have to talk to people, pray and be there for one another.”

The LeFlore County Sheriff’s Office is grieving with law enforcement members who lost family yesterday and supporting them.

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