Login

Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

BENSON, Ariz. -- A 56-year-old Tucson man was killed when the side of a wash caved in while he and a friend were looking for rocks and minerals.

Responders found William T. Lawrence buried Wednesday under several feet of rocks, dirt and debris in a remote area near Benson, the Cochise County Sheriff's Office said.

The friend, Barbara Muntyan of Tucson, walked miles to reach help and told authorities Lawrence had been digging in the wall of the wash when she heard a noise, according to the sheriff's office.

Muntyan told authorities she then found a large pile of rocks and debris where Lawrence had been digging.

``The sides of the wash were about 10 feet high, and one entire side had caved in on him,'' said sheriff's Sgt. John Filippelli. ``He was buried under mounds of rock; one the size of a small car.''

Lawrence had the only cellphone and set of keys for their vehicle, so Muntyan had to hike five miles from the site to flag down a passing motorist for help, Filippelli told the Sierra Vista Herald.

Because of the time it took Muntyan to reach help, responders didn't arrive at the site until about two hours after the cave-in, Filippelli said.

It then took the responders about two hours to uncover Lawrence. They initially used shovels until road department staff brought a backhoe.

Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Palermo said he was shocked by the size and number of rocks that buried Lawrence.

``When you see something like this, you always hope the person can survive the accident, but in the back of my mind, I thought it looked pretty hopeless,'' he said.

An autopsy will be conducted, and the sheriff's office is investigating.

Associated Press,

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.
close

Share: