Cause of death released in Bauxite blue hole case

Josh Briggs
Managing Editor

Cause of death has officially been determined in the case of a Benton man that leaped from a blue hole cliff near Mount Olive Road in Bauxite earlier this year.

According to Saline County Coroner Kevin Cleghorn, autopsy findings show that Chance Armstrong, 18, drowned. Cleghorn added that the death has been ruled an accident and that
Armstrong's toxicology report was clean.

Authorities were dispatched to the 3400 block of Mount Olive Road around 3:15 p.m. June 19 in reference to a drowning accident.

SCSO Lt. Daniel Dodson said that the witnesses were illegally swimming in the blue hole when Armstrong decided to climb back to street level before leaping from the cliff.

“They were hollering for him not to jump,” Dodson added.
Dodson added that people often will trespass to gain entrance to the blue holes, cutting fencing to do so.

However, deputies said the group of swimmers gained access somewhere other than a property in the 3400 block of Mount Olive Road.

Dive teams and two SONAR squads searched the area for more than 16 hours spread across two days before locating Armstrong’s body.

According to Massiet, body temperature and water current were reasons for the lengthy recovery process.

He added that the body was located at a depth of about 30 feet.