STONY FORK, TN (WLAF) – Members of the La Follette Rescue Squad rescued one man and recovered the body of another in a bulldozer accident that happened before midnight Thursday along New River Creek. The accident, off Clinchmore Road, wasn’t called in to Central Dispatch until Friday.
In the narrative from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Grace Cross said she responded Friday at 11:30am to the call of a missing man. Will Tate, who called in the incident, told Cross two men were logging back in the woods Thursday night when flooding began. Tate said to the deputy that the men were trying to move their vehicles and machinery to higher ground when a vehicle swept them down the creek, and they were able to get back onto land and returned to their camper.
One of the men was badly injured, and the other man, Troy Seabolt, left to get help around 11pm Thursday. Seabolt, 61, of Huntsville, never returned, the report said.
Tate and Cross started walking up Stony Fork School Road where they were met by Jerry Stephens and Tyrell Phillips who stated they allegedly found Seabolt dead in the creek. Cross found Seabolt’s body, face down, about 10 feet over the embankment. Seabolt had sustained a head injury, but she did not see any other injuries, according to the report.
Chief Charles Hutson with the La Follette Rescue Squad said he and three other LRS members waded through knee deep water and mud up to their thighs Friday afternoon to reach the two victims. “There was a dozer accident about midnight Thursday night resulting in one fatality and leaving another elderly man named Jeff Myers stranded, exposed to the elements for more than 12 hours across a raging stream,” said Hutson.
LRS members were unable to access the scene above the Clinchmore Church on all terrain vehicles (ATVs). Squad personnel and volunteers were forced to hike approximately a fourth of a mile upstream through an active logging operation. “At times, we had to pull each other out of the mud,” said the chief.
Accounts from Central Dispatch are that the two men were washed off the dozer while trying to cross the creek. The body of Seabolt was recovered Friday at 1:28pm, and the other victim, Myers, also of Huntsville, refused medical treatment when he was located at 3:45 pm Friday.
“Myers was found to be in remarkable condition despite spending more than 24 hours outdoors, and he was able to walk out with assistance,” added Chief Hutson. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/21/2023-6AM)