Branson Police received a 911 call on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at approximately 2:00 p.m. regarding a vehicle that had driven into Lake Taneycomo near the 100 block of River Valley Road.
Upon arrival, first responders located a vehicle in the lake, wedged under a private dock. After asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the flood gates to slow the water, rescue personnel entered the water, located an elderly male victim inside the vehicle, extricated the victim and initiated emergency life-saving measures. The victim was transported to Cox Hospital Branson where he was pronounced dead.
The victim was identified by the Taney County Coroner as 87-year old David Woolery of Branson. Woolery is credited with starting the 911 emergency phone system in 1991 in Taney County, serving as the first Taney County 911 Administrator.
While this remains an active investigation, investigators believe it was a tragic accident. Both Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews and Branson Fire Rescue Chief Ted Martin offer condolences to Woolery's family and friends on behalf of all first responders on the scene.
Along with the Branson Police Department, several other agencies responded to and assisted with this incident including Branson Fire Rescue, Western Taney County Fire Rescue, Taney County Ambulance District and the Missouri Highway Patrol.