Oklahoma couple drowns in rural North Dakota river

Hettinger Co Sheriffs Office

The Hettinger County Sheriff’s Office responded to an incident on the Cannonball River Sunday, May 1, 2022, resulting in the death of Oklahoma residents Patrick and Joan Blake. Photo courtesy of the Hettinger County Sheriffs Department.

MOTT, N.D. — A visiting Oklahoma couple died in North Dakota when their pickup truck was swept into and submerged in the Cannonball River.

Hettinger County Sheriff Sarah Warner said Patrick and Joan Blake, both 74, of Arcadia, Okla., were driving Sunday in a rural part of the county when they attempted to cross the river at a low crossing where it was 3 to 4 feet deep. The river was running was flowing at approximately 600-800 cubic feet per second.

Their 2017 Ford F-250 truck lost traction and went into the river, Warner said. The couple called 911 at about 1 p.m. reporting water up to the doors of the truck, trapping them.

When first responders arrived on the scene they were unable to locate the truck.  A recovery mission was started and the Dickinson’s Dive Team was called.  At approximately 6:30 p.m. the Blake’s vehicle was located, 1600 feet east of the river crossing submerged in 15 feet of water.

Once the vehicle was recovered, both occupants were found deceased in the vehicle.

The recovery effort was a joint effort by the Hettinger County Sheriff, Mott Fire and Rescue, Mott Ambulance, Regent Fire and Rescue, North Dakota Highway Patrol, North Dakota Bureau of Investigation, North Dakota Game and Fish, Dickinson Dive Team and the Stark County Sheriff.

Categories: Local News, National News, North Dakota News