Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Tragic Accident

This is the Decareaux Family.

                              David Decareaux was a Department of Defense employee, a former Air Force officer,  Information Specialist, and a husband and father of the wonderful family you see here. The family resides in Milllstadt, Illinois.  The family recently rented a cabin in Reynold's County, Missouri, in the vicinity of the Ozark Trail.
                              It was during this trip that Mr. Decareaux took two of his sons and their four month old Labrador puppy Bear, on a hike.  By all accounts, David was an experienced hiker, and he had a cellphone and flashlight.  They departed on Saturday for their hike in 60 degree weather and were by newspaper accounts, appropriately dressed with light coats, and layered clothing.  They were last seen by a passer by, who asked if they needed a ride back because it had begun to rain. Mr Decareaux responded that they could make it back.  Later is the day, the temperature plummeted and attempts to find them were thwarted by flash floods of the region.  Temperatures dropped into the twenties while the local sheriff gathered people to go look for the man, his two sons and their puppy.   David Decareaux, a military veteran, was found soaking wet and dead. Attempts were made to resuscitate his two sons, and they were taken to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead. The labrador puppy has survived.  This is said to have occurred within the Mark Twain National Forest which is quite desolate and overnight, has no ambient light.
                           This was an experienced hiker and according to friends and relatives, an intelligent man. Please remember that wherever you are, that the temperature, in all seasons, but particularly in winter, can plummet unexpectedly.  Remember that children if cold, or ill can slow a hike immeasurably.  Remember always to have far more in terms of supplies and clothing, than is needed.  Such accidents are not really as rare as we would like them to be. I am often accused of not being adventurous enough on such trips, and of having more than is needed.  The fact is that we never know what might happen that might leave us, and our most vulnerable family members in the elements for longer than was anticipated.  Put blankets in spacebags in your car.  Wear layered clothing. Check weather reports. Remember that many places exist in the US in which cellphones cannot reach cell sites.
                        Mr. Decareaux is remembered as an excellent father and a good provider. He had a high level job with DOD, and an autopsy will be conducted on these family members.  Dominick was ten, and Grant was eight years old.   Our condolences go out to his wife, his remaining family, his in-laws, and all of their friends.





9 comments:

Sandy said...

One must always be aware of the weather when camping/hiking in the wilderness or a park all the times. Don't count on your cell phone to help you. In most cases, a cell phone will be out of the area to capture a signal. All it takes is a second for the weather to change, or a fire because of weather or someones stupidity. It doesn't matter how experienced you are, if your not prepared with the proper safety equipment you shouldn't venture out for a hike.

God Bless the Decareaux Family!

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes. I never took my children to really remote areas when they were very young, simply because they might not be able to walk out if injured, or because we would become a target to both human and animal predators. There are many places I go, just in the course of my week where a cellphone doesn't reach a cell site. Still, I hate to hear stories like this. All three of them were scouts.

Gorges Smythe said...

How sad. All we can do is pray for those left behind.

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, many from the Church of LDS have been supporting his wife, his children and his family through this very difficult time.

DFW said...

How very sad this is.

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, I thought of their family and prayed for them several times during my busy day.

Eric Jackson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FloraMarie said...

Early in the mornings here I chip ice off the windshield and get the car going to drive the mile or so to the gym. I've often reflected that if I broke down, even for a half hour during rush hour, the consequences could be severe if not deadly.
I'm also concerned about my son, who drives 20 miles to school. I want him to have a car bag with supplies for warmth, food, drink, etc; Trying to put these things together is really hard for me-I don't know why, I just can't seem to get it done. This sad event has reminded me that anything can happen at any time. My heart goes out to this family, may God bless his widow and remaining children. I know they must be broken right now.

JaneofVirginia said...

Marie, I think the same way. One of my sons commutes to college about forty miles four days a week. We feel lucky that it's not five. Because we are in the South, most days are safe and passable. Still, there are days when there are tornado warnings or tornado watches. There is hail and sleet,rarely snow, and so many people drive so carelessly. Our son has a full backpack with supplies which we have tied for extra protection with a clear trash bag. To my knowledge, he has never used it, but someday it could save his life. We check it about every six months and rotate the clothing in it. Still, life is dangerous. Anything can happen, anywhere and anytime.