Yesterday, March 20, Franklin County residents faced tragedy when Sanes Creek bridge was washed away due to major flooding, resulting in the loss of six lives.

As of 3 p.m. yesterday, all victims had been recovered except one, but search parties were suspended for the night due to darkness and were scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. this morning.

Indiana Conservation Officer Josh Thomas confirmed before search parties had been fully dispatched at 9 a.m. today, March 21, the last victim was recovered from the same area the other victims were found the previous day.

Victims have been identified as Shawn Roberts, 48; Burton Spurlock Jr., 49; Felina Lewis, all of Laurel; and three juveniles, ages 13, 7 and 4, whose names will not be released.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) took lead of the case, according to Thomas, because of training and experience with water situations.

“We have the boats and equipment,” Thomas said. “We have that gear and expertise, and these are the kind of things we train for, so we take over a scene like that pretty quick, and we take a lot of pride in that, but it is just because we have been afforded the opportunity to train to do so. ”

Pictures released of Sanes Creek bridge have been the cause speculation among community members of exactly what happened that morning when the victims attempted to cross the bridge, that pictures show now is nonexistent.

“That bridge essentially was washed away,” Thomas said. “I am not the lead investigator, and I know they are going to be working on this for days to come, but the pictures I have seen, yeah, that bridge just washed away. You can imagine with some water, a lot of people would think there is concrete underneath, and they could go on through. With it being dark and five in the morning, they probably didn’t think anything about it.”

The reality of what could possibly be under high water was a message Thomas stressed to the public.

“We really have to get the message out, if there is water across the road, you have got to turn around," Thomas said. “You may have crossed Sanes Creek bridge 400 times and been okay, but the 401st time it can wash away, you just don’t know what is underneath that water or what could happen.”

As for first respondents on the scene, Thomas acknowledged the loss of life is always tough, but it is devastating to lose children.

Conservation officers have what is called a peer support group that will reach out to first respondents and civilians involved in the search and rescue to ensure everyone is dealing with the tragedy.

County Commissioner Tom Linkel said a public statement would be released soon.