Coroner: Teen-ager died from injuries in accident
By By William F. West / community editor
June 27, 2002
Lauderdale County Deputy Coroner Clayton Cobler said today that 16-year-old Concetta Cron died this week as a result of injuries from a boating accident on Okatibbee Lake.
Cron, a student at Union High School, had been boating Monday evening with her father, Terrell Pickett Jr., and a friend, Michael Hardy.
Clarence Butler, Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency director, said the teen-ager was not wearing a life jacket.
Divers search waters
Divers and rescuers searched the lake and found the body Wednesday morning.
Later Wednesday, Allan Dover, captain of the LEMA dive team, talked about how rescuers had engaged in "black water" diving meaning they had no light beneath a certain depth.
Dover praises efforts
Dover praised efforts of fellow rescuers, volunteer firefighters and those who used their own boats and fuel to look for the girl.
State Wildlife, Fisheries &Parks officers assisted with cameras that search underwater. Such cameras are attached to a pole-type device that feeds an image back to a closed-circuit television in a boat.
But, Dover said, the images are only transmitted in black and white.
Lack of light
Another problem, he said, is the lack of light below 10 feet in the Okatibbee.
And Dover told of encountering problems such as currents his first night of the rescue effort, resulting in an inability to remain in a specific dive zone and establish a good search pattern.
On the second day, he said, there were good search patterns with divers relying on devices such as depth finders and finding objects similar in size to the body.
The problem, he said, was that what they found were logs and trees. Compounding the problem, he said, was the presence of much silt at the bottom.
On Wednesday afternoon Dover made clear his and his fellow rescuers' determination to find the body.