Arkansas to evaluate river sinkhole where kayaker died

Arkansas to evaluate river sinkhole where kayaker died Photo: AP

June 23, 2018 03:51 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas has hired a consultant to evaluate a stretch of river where a kayaker was dragged to his death when a rare sinkhole created a whirlpool.

Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston says experts will begin evaluating the Spring River on Monday. The sinkhole area is closed to the public.

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Officials say 64-year-old Donald Wright of Searcy died in the June 9 accident near Saddler Falls.

A statement from Thurston's office says the matter is of utmost importance, especially with the anticipated increase of traffic with the upcoming July Fourth holiday.

Officials say sinkholes are common in the northern half of Arkansas, where subterranean limestone easily erodes. It's unusual to have a sinkhole open a whirlpool in the middle of a stream.

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(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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