Sister-in-law says it was like something from ‘the movies’
Police have identified the mine worker who was killed in a flash flood in Emery County, Utah at the weekend, as Fairview resident Gary Nelson.
Officials from the Emery County Sheriff’s Office said Mr Nelson had worked at the Gentry Mountain Mine for ten years. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters.
According to a statement released by the office, an intense storm flooded the surface of the Gentry Mountain Mine on Sunday.
KSL News Radio reports that crew in a vehicle on their way to the mine witnessed a wall of water and debris coming down Bear Canyon.
Sheriff’s office spokesperson Janalee Luke told KSL, “They could tell they weren’t going to be able to completely escape the flood, so they topped and got out and climbed to higher ground.”
Ela continuou: “As the water came down, it went on both sides of what they were standing on. Então, for a time, they were surrounded by water.”
Tragically, Mr Nelson lost his footing and fell into the swift-moving water. His body was found six miles downstream the following day.
Mr Nelson’s sister-in-law, Alexis Olsen, paid tribute to him: “Gary was an amazing man. He was a rock to their family," ela disse, adicionando: “He was my sister’s best friend and supporter.”
Ms Olsen said she had spoken to people living in nearby Huntington, who reported having never seen a storm like that before.
Ela disse, “I still can’t believe that it happened. You only see that in the movies.”
Huntington Mayor Leonard Norton said the accident has been particularly difficult for the community, as it’s a remainder of past tragedies.
“It hits hard because we’re all in a mining community and we have friends that work in the mine,” Mr Norton said. “It opens old wounds of old disasters that we’ve had.”