Marshall Co. Backhoe Gets Stuck Amid ATV Controversy - - No One Gets You Closer

Marshall Co. Backhoe Gets Stuck Amid ATV Controversy


MARSHALL COUNTY, OK -- With many young people in Oklahoma on spring break, the use of four-wheelers at Lake Texoma has park rangers concerned.

A quest to stop lawbreakers from driving ATVs on the beach at led one park ranger to get stuck in the sand. When the county sent a backhoe to help, it got stuck in a muddy mess. Meantime, some people in the Sandy Beach community off Enos Road say they do not agree with the law about ATVs.

Water shot from the exhaust of a backhoe trapped in mud on the beach on Thursday. "The Corps of Engineers ranger called me last night and they had a vehicle stuck down here and asked if we could help, and we came out here to help them, pull them out," says Marshall County Commissioner Chris Duroy of District 3.

The backhoe never got to the truck it was to rescue, instead needing its own help when it got stuck. "We're trying to get it up on top to the harder sand where we can move," says Duroy.

"I've seen pickup trucks and tractors stuck, but nothing ever stuck like that, that's major stuck," says resident Charlie Basden.

They were using a second backhoe to try and get the other one out, but the mud was very thick and the wind and rainy conditions didn't help either.

Park Ranger James Vincent says his pickup got stuck on Wednesday night while he was on duty. "I received a number of complaints from this area of unauthorized off-road activity by various types of vehicles including four-wheelers, UTVs, Jeeps," says Vincent.

According to the Army Corps, riding any motorized vehicle on the beach is illegal, a fact that angers some residents. "They ride four-wheelers up and down the beach all the time. They can do it, I don't see why we can't, but we don't anymore because they threatened to take our four-wheelers away," says resident Charlie Boudreaux.

"Kind of like a highway patrolman chasing a speeder he has to speed to do that. We do have to get off-road ourselves," says Vincent.

The vehicle tracks added one of top of the other lead to erosion, rangers said.

"People disregard the signs and they think they're out in the country they can ride their four-wheelers anywhere they want," says Basden.

"They pretty much just bring the police out and tell you not to do it again, but if you get warned a few times, then they'll ticket you," says resident Spencer Haff.

Vincent's truck was towed, while the backhoe turned into a bigger project, but Duroy says they finally pulled it out with the other backhoe by around 4 p.m.

"Ten feet one side or the other, we would have got in there, got them out and been out of here, but we hit a bog," says Duroy.

Rangers have been working in this area for a few years to try and stop the violations, and often do issue warnings before giving out tickets, Vincent said.