The bodies of two 55-year-old Platte County men were recovered from Smithville Lake early Friday, the sad aftermath of Independence Day drownings.
The Missouri Highway Patrol identified the men as Gregory Weese, of Plattsburg, and John Butts, of Smithville.
Witnesses told Highway Patrol troopers that the two men had been wading along a submerged road — pavement that existed before the man-made lake was formed — about 5:30 p.m. Thursday near a northern shore in Clinton County. The underwater roadway makes it possible to wade well into the lake.
One of the men either slipped off the underwater road or fell into a hole, according to the Highway Patrol, and the other man tried to help. Both disappeared in the water.
“There was a shout for help,” said Highway Patrol Sgt. Sheldon Lyon.
Efforts were made to find the men Thursday night, but the search was called off at dark.
About 7 a.m. Friday, boats from the Missouri Water Patrol, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources began dragging the lake. One body was found about 7:30 a.m. and the second was recovered about 15 minutes later.