One Dead, One Missing in Monday Horse Riding Accident


HEMPHILL COUNTY --  At 6:15 p.m. on Monday,  Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office was notified of two people who had been riding a horse near the Canadian River northeast of Canadian and had been missing just after noon.

Officials searched the area with the aid of volunteers, members of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Department, Hemphill County EMS and a local helicopter pilot and Texas Parks & Wildlife provided additional.

At 8:20 p.m., a pilot located the rider less horse a short distance southeast of the US 60/83 highway bridge. About 15-20 minutes later, the pilot and volunteers on horseback located one of the missing riders in a semi-flooded area 2-3 miles south of the bridge.

The victim, 7-year-old Emily Purcell, was deceased. The other rider, and also Purcell's aunt, 24-year-old Marquita Medrano, has still not been located.

A DPS helicopter out of Amarillo also assisted using FLIR, but they suspended the search around 10:30 p.m. and resumed this morning at 7 a.m.

Wheeler County Justice of the Peace Mark Brown pronounced the child deceased. An autopsy will be performed in Lubbock. 

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