Johnson County
Sheriff's Office
Clarksville, Arkansas
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Campers Rescued At Haw Creek Falls Campground


A group of juvenile campers from the Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Conway were rescued at approximately 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 2 from the Haw Creek Falls campground near Ft. Douglas after a rain-swollen creek prevented them from leaving.  The Sheriff's Office received a report around 7:00 a.m. that several campers were stranded due to high water and a storm which passed through the area on Friday night.  The storm downed several trees in the campground as well as on Highway 123 near Ft. Douglas.  The 10 juvenile males, ranging in age from 8-14 were on a camping trip with 7 adults.  A decision was made to take the juveniles out to safety with the adults staying at the campsite with their belongings.  The Johnson County Road Department provided a dump truck which was used to cross the creek and bring the 10 juveniles back to safety.  They were met by church members from Conway and transported back to Conway by private vehicle.  Personnel from the Sheriff's Office, Dive Team, OEM, County Road Department and a representative of the U.S. Forest Service responded to the scene.  In addition to the juveniles, 2 adult hikers who took shelter at the campground from the Ozark Highlands Trail narrowly escaped injury when a tree fell on a truck they were sleeping in.  The truck had been loaned to them by another camper in the campground when they attempted to sleep in a tent through the storm.  The hikers made the decision to leave the campground and were returned to their car in Pope County.  There were no injuries reported.