Victims in fatal rockslide identified; Rockville

Rockslide in Rockville destroys a home, Rockville, Utah, Dec. 12, 2013 | Photo by Dan Mabbutt, St, George News
L-R: Maureen Morris and Jeff Elsey, Rockville, Utah, December 2013 | Photo courtesy of Elise West, St. George News
L-R: Maureen Morris and Jeff Elsey, Rockville, Utah, December 2013 | Photo courtesy of Elise West, St. George News

ROCKVILLE – The bodies of two people killed in Rockville when a rockslide crushed their home have been retrieved and identified.

Just before 5 p.m., Thursday, a rockslide occurred behind a home in the west part of Rockville and completely demolished the building. Two people known to be living in the two-story home were killed on impact, officials told media.

Rockville Mayor Dan McGuire and neighbors have identified the victims as Jeff Elsey and Maureen Morris.

Multiple emergency crews from the surrounding area responded to the scene following reports of the disaster. A search and rescue team from Zion National Park also responded.

The bodies of victims were located Thursday night, yet were unable to be removed at the time due to safety concerns. They have since been recovered, Springdale Police Sgt. Garen Brecke said.

While the incident is still under investigation, it is being treated as a natural disaster, Brecke said. It is speculated that melting snow and subsequent frost triggered the rockslide.

A voluntary evacuation is currently in place for home in the area.

A similar incident occurred in Rockville in February 2010 when rock fall from the hillside above destroyed a several out buildings, two cars and a home, according to the Utah Geological Survey. No one was injured in that incident.

St. George News reporter Dan Mabbutt contributed to this article.

Rockslide in Rockville destroys a home, Rockville, Utah, Dec. 12, 2013 | Photo by Dan Mabbutt, St, George News
Two people were killed when rockslide destroyed their home, Rockville, Utah, Dec. 12, 2013 | Photo by Dan Mabbutt, St, George News
The home before it was destroyed by a rockslide, Rockville, Utah, date unknown | Photo courtesy of LeAnn Schmidt Rohde, St.George News
The home before it was destroyed by a rockslide, Rockville, Utah, date unknown | Photo courtesy of LeAnn Schmidt Rohde, St.George News

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Rockslide in Rockville destroys a home, Rockville, Utah, Dec. 12, 2013 | Photo by Dan Mabbutt, St, George News
Rockslide in Rockville destroys a home, Rockville, Utah, Dec. 12, 2013 | Photo by Dan Mabbutt, St, George News

 

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1 Comment

  • Ellen Lambert December 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Bless their hearts.

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