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Man Dies Crossing High Water In McClain County

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The small town of Cole has been left in a state of shock and mourning after learning of Gary Goll's tragic death. The small town of Cole has been left in a state of shock and mourning after learning of Gary Goll's tragic death.
No one in town quite understands why Goll, his stepdaughter and her boyfriend decided to cross the flooded May Ave. No one in town quite understands why Goll, his stepdaughter and her boyfriend decided to cross the flooded May Ave.
McCLAIN COUNTY, Oklahoma -

A 56-year-old McClain County man drowned Wednesday morning while trying to cross high water.

The small town of Cole has been left in a state of shock and mourning after learning of Gary Goll's tragic death. Goll worked alongside Mayor Larry Birdwell as a City Council member.

“Gary was a quiet man, but when he spoke you listened,” said Cole mayor Larry Birdwell.

No one in town quite understands why Goll, his stepdaughter and her boyfriend decided to cross the flooded May Ave. Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers estimated the rushing water to be about 3 feet high at the time.

Birdwell's son is one of the town's volunteer firefighters. Around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday he heard screams for help.

“He thought he could hear people hollering. And then he called his wife to come out and listen,” said Birdwell.

Area firefighters found the screaming couple clinging for their life, the boyfriend found in a tree and Goll's stepdaughter sitting on roof of the truck. Using a boat and ropes tied to the shoreline, rescuers were able to save the couple.

“When they got her back out of there and got her rescued she said well what about my dad?” he said.

Goll was tapped inside his truck that quickly filled with water.

“They went back knocked the back glass out of the pickup and discovered him,” said Birdwell.

When rescuers found him they were too late.

“He was a very fine man,” said Birdwell.

And one who will be missed by all in town he served and loved.

Gary Goll's funeral will be held in Blanchard this Saturday at 1 p.m.

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