Former Oracle resident Wyatt Althoff was killed in a boating accident on Roosevelt Lake on Saturday afternoon.
Wyatt was boating with friends when he apparently fell from the boat and never surfaced. No details of the accident are available. It took divers more than a day to find his body which was found on Monday. According to the Payson Roundup newspaper, the search was delayed due to a monsoon storm with lightning and wind that created five foot waves.
“A boating accident that killed a beloved cowboy on Roosevelt Lake this weekend has shocked the rodeo community,” the Roundup stated.
The 26-year-old Wyatt attended school in Oracle, graduated from Canyon Del Oro High School and New Mexico State University which he attended on a rodeo scholarship.
In 2008 he was the College National Finals Rodeo “All Around Champion.” He had been competing this weekend in Payson’s August Doins rodeo where on Friday he had tied for second in the first round of the tie down roping event. He was scheduled to compete Sunday afternoon in team roping with his friend and roping partner Trevor “T.J.” Brown, who was also on the boat. Wyatt was honored at the rodeo when organizers released a lone steer to run across the arena in his memory.
Wyatt had many friends and family in Oracle, Payson and the Tucson area. He will be missed.