Rodeo Star Dies in Hunting Accident

A tragic accident claimed the life of an Oklahoma State University graduate student and accomplished rodeo competitor over the weekend. Jackson Williams, 24, was engaged in a duck hunting activity at Sooner Lake when he encountered a sudden drop-off. His waders, a type of waterproof boot extending from the foot to the chest, filled with water, causing him to sink, according to the Oklahoma Game Wardens.

The authorities utilized side-imaging technology to locate and retrieve Williams’ body from the lake’s floor. Captain Ben Bickerstaff of the Oklahoma Game Wardens explained the difficulty of escaping from waders, especially in cold water and under panic. He expressed his condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of the young man, assuring them of the wardens’ thoughts and prayers.

Williams was pursuing his graduate studies in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Oklahoma State University (OSU), as confirmed by university officials. He had been a student at OSU for seven semesters, according to university spokesperson Shannon Rigsby.

Before his time at OSU, Williams, an Arkansas native, had a successful rodeo career. He competed under the guidance of coach Jeff Collins at Panola College, as noted in his obituary.

The university released a statement expressing their deep sorrow over the sudden loss of Williams. They highlighted his roles beyond being a student, including serving as the OSU Extension Agriculture and 4-H Educator in Logan County. The statement described Williams as a genuine and respectable young man with a passion for soil science, rodeo, and helping others. The university extended its condolences to Williams’ family, friends, co-workers, the 4-H’ers and producers he advised, and his former OSU Rodeo team members.