Death related to house fire
The Kentucky family of five who drowned in Illinois Dec. 26 had connections to the Staples area.
Robbyn Owen, 13, and Chad Owen, 10, were the children of Robert Owen, Wadena, and the grandchildren of William and Marsha Owen, Staples.
The children were traveling with their mother, Erin Schutt, 36, and her husband Adam, 31. Also in the vehicle was Adam’s son, 13-year-old Logan.
The family was on their way to Minnesota to visit family in Carlton. Erin Schutt, whose maiden name was Nynas, attended Cloquet High School and lived in the area most of her life. She moved to Elkton, Ky., after meeting Adam Schutt about seven years ago.
The Schutt’s were driving on a rural road just east of Patoka, Ill., about 60 miles east of St. Louis, and attempted to cross a low-lying bridge, but a dip in the road may have concealed the true depth of the water. The Patoka fire chief estimated water levels had risen to four to five feet above the roadway.
The family had left their Kentucky home on Saturday at about 3 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., one of the family members called 911 from the submerged vehicle.
Firefighters and two dive teams responded. A firefighter was able to talk to the family, but their car had washed nearly 200 feet downstream. It took hours for rescue crews to get to the car, and by that time it was too late.
Investigators suggested the Schutts may have gotten lost after stopping for gas or dinner and ended up at the dangerous crossing.
Funeral services for Adam and Erin Schutt and Robbyn and Chad Owen were Saturday, Jan. 2, at the Todd County Funeral Home in Elkton, Ky. Burial followed in Stokes Community Cemetery, Elkton.
Funeral services for Logan Schutt were Dec. 31, also at the Todd County Funeral Home.