The body of a woman who died in Scott County flooding on May 30 is still at the county coroner’s office.
40-year-old Cathy Byers from Dallas, Texas is one of five victims who died when flash flooding swamped parts of Scott County near Y-City. Now, local authorities are working with her family on getting her body back home to Texas.
“Now that she’s gone, I don’t really have an answer here,” explained her husband, Jodie Byers. “I mean there’s no money sitting around.”
Jodie Byers said he’s trying to give his wife a proper burial, but that it will cost him several thousand dollars which he doesn’t have. To raise money for funeral costs, Jodie Byers has gone online where he’s started a donation fund.
However, Scott County Judge James Forbes said the county coroner wasn’t planning to charge Byers’ family for any services rendered. All the county coroner needs to know is which funeral home to send her body to in Texas.
While her family and the county continue to figure out how to get her body back to Texas, Jodie Byers said he’s still trying to come to terms with what happened.
Byers said they were driving on Highway 71 when rain began pouring down that night. All of the sudden, he said water surrounded the car, and swept it off the road. That’s when he said his wife escaped out of the passenger side window.
“About the time she made it through the window was when we got hit with more water than I know what to tell you,” Byers recalled. “I’ve tried to put this into words for a while. I didn’t know anything else but water was happening. I mean there was nothing but water all around us.”
“The water was coming over the highway at such speeds and force that the car began to slip from the pavement and the victim exited the vehicle on the passenger side and the force of the water forced her under the vehicle where she drowned,” explained Arkansas State Police Captain Steve Coleman, who worked the accident.
The Byers were headed to Mulberry Mountain for the Wakarusa Music Festival when the flash flooding hit. The trip was a birthday present for Cathy, who would’ve celebrated her 41st birthday just a week after she died.