McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 31, 2013

McNally Flats death still under investigation

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Officials say they are still investigating after a 19-year-old McAlester man was found dead at a social gathering Saturday night, near Blocker.

The incident occurred Saturday night at McNally Flats near Blocker when officials were called to the scene after William Hatridge,19, was found unresponsive, according to a report by the Pittsburg Sheriff’s Department released Thursday.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has called the death suspicious but a final determination on cause of death will not be made until the report from the medical examiner’s office is released, according to a spokesperson from the OSBI.

According to the sheriff’s report, Hatridge was with a group of friends at a large pasture/wooded area where “people were drinking alcohol and standing around a large brushfire.”

Ther report alleges that Hatridge was seen allegedly drinking a bottle of whiskey, became intoxicated and then fell asleep in the back of a flat bed trailer where he was later found unconscience and later declared dead.

The report also states that a male subject was interviewed at the scene.

The subject said he allegedly saw Hatridge sitting on the bed of a trailer holding a bottle of (whiskey). The report states that the subject allegedly told Hatridge not to drink the alcohol and then left the party. When (the subject) returned to part a short time later, the subject saw three unknown vehicles leaving the area and he found Hatridge sleeping on the trailer, “snoring,” the report alleges.

“He checked (Hatridge) again a short time later and noticed he wasn’t breathing and called 911,” the report states.

Evidence was gathered and a full autopsy was requested by the OSBI, according to the report.

Meanwhile Sheriff Joel Kerns said he’s still investigating the incident.

“We are working with the OSBI to find out who furnished the alcohol,” Kerns said.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore a jleflore@mcalesternews.com.