Pea Ridge Football Player Drowns in Beaver Lake
Fellow students and friends are mourning the loss of 15-year-old Pea Ridge student and football player, Dustin Ridenoure, who drowned Saturday in Beaver Lake.
Football coach Tony Travis says those who knew him are still in shock.
“Having a tough time coming to grips with reality of the situation and a lot of them, especially the guys in his class, the younger guys, it might possibly be a first experience with something like this,” Travis said.
Ridenoure and another teenage friend were riding a piece of Styrofoam into shore on boat waves about a half-mile off of, and one cove over, from Indian Creek swimming area at Beaver Lake, said Benton County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Kenneth Paul said. Paul said the waves pulled the boys out further from shore, and Ridenoure jumped off the piece of Styrofoam and tried to swim it back toward the shore.
“Just a minute later, he either cramped up, or got fatigued, and that’s when he went under,” Paul said.
Eyewitnesses on two nearby docks heard screaming and saw the commotion said Alan Bland, Ranger for the Army Corp of Engineers at Beaver Lake. They jumped on a boat and drove over to help.
Bland said the eyewitnesses could see Ridenoure nearly 20 feet below the water’s surface, however, when one of the eyewitnesses dove down, he couldn’t pull the boy up alone. Bland said both eyewitnesses dove down together and were able to pull the boy out of the water and onto a nearby dock, where a nurse was.
The nurse was able to perform CPR on Ridenoure for about 45 minutes until the teen was taken by helicopter to Northwest Medical Center where he was pronounced dead upon arrival, Paul said.
Dustin’s principal said the young man moved to Pea Ridge from Bentonville with his family about a year ago and said he was an outstanding student.
“His grades reflected that the really enjoyed school and coming to school so we are very proud of Dustin,” Rick Neal, Pea Ridge principal, said.
Those who knew Dustin said the community is coming together to support his family.
“Bring our community together with support for the family, with some food support, financial support with some local groups,” Neal said.
Travis said, “That’s where we are at right now just trying to keep the family in our thoughts and prayers and doing everything we can to help them.”
Funeral service: Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at Word of Life Fellowship in Bentonville with Pastor Jim Dixon and Pastor Jeff Dixon officiating. Interment will follow the service at Freedom Cemetery in Winslow.
Honorary Pallbearers will be his teammates on the Pea Ridge JV Football Team.
Memorials to Arvest Bank in his name.