WEATHER

Family remembers mine worker killed in flash flood as ‘an amazing man’

Aug 3, 2021, 7:48 PM
(Gary Nelson, seen with his wife, Tara, in the picture on the GoFundMe account raising funds for fu...
(Gary Nelson, seen with his wife, Tara, in the picture on the GoFundMe account raising funds for funeral expenses. Photo courtesy of Alexis Olsen)
(Gary Nelson, seen with his wife, Tara, in the picture on the GoFundMe account raising funds for funeral expenses. Photo courtesy of Alexis Olsen)

FAIRVIEW, Utah — Police are identifying the Gentry Mountain Mine worker killed in a flash flood in Emery County over the weekend. His family members said they’re still struggling to come to terms with his death, and his passing leaves a huge hole in their lives.

Officials with the Emery County Sheriff’s Office said Fairview resident Gary Nelson had worked at the mine for ten years before an intense storm triggered a flash flood, sending a wall of debris down Bear Canyon. He and a co-worker climbed a berm to get above the rushing water, but investigators say Nelson lost his footing and fell into the flood.

Nelson’s sister-in-law, Alexis Olsen, said they can’t believe the weather would turn that dangerous. She has spoken to people living in nearby Huntington, and they reported they’ve never seen a storm like that before.

She said, “I still can’t believe that it happened. You only see that in the movies.”

Olsen said it’s hard to pinpoint one specific reason why she felt Nelson was such a good man.

“I would brag non-stop about the man,” she said.

Olsen said her brother-in-law was the kind of person who was happy to help others whenever they needed something, and he’d always have a big smile on his face, even if he had a hard day.

“Gary was an amazing man. He was a rock to their family,” she said. “He was there for his daughters and he provided [so much] for his daughters.”

Mostly, Olsen said Nelson was a source of constant support for his wife and three daughters.

“He was my sister’s best friend and supporter,” Olsen said. “She’s just struggling so hard, right now, because he was such a rock to her and always there for her.”

Olsen set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for funeral expenses, but, she’s pondering the same thing we all ponder when we lose a loved one.

“I don’t understand why he had to be taken,” she said.

Today’s Top Stories

Weather

Flooding caused evacuations in the area of the Jacob City Fire burn scar. Photo courtesy of Stockto...
Mark Jackson

Evacuations for areas in the Jacob City Fire burn scar lifted early Sunday

A flash flood warning was issued Friday evening for Salt Lake County, according to the National Weather Service out of Salt Lake City.
3 days ago
Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Natural Resources...
Chandler Holt

Some Utah areas see slight drop in drought levels

A drought update from the Utah Division of Water Resources offers a glimpse of good news for Utah. Division spokesman Michael Sanchez says you can thank a good monsoonal season for a slight drop in the percentage of the state that is in extreme drought or worse
3 days ago
A lightning strike is pictured....
Samantha Herrera

Two Tooele houses struck by lightning in yesterday’s storm

TOOELE, Utah — Two houses were struck by lightning Wednesday night during a thunderstorm. Officials said there were no injuries, but some damage. Deputy Fire Chief Jed Colovich from the Tooele City Fire Department said one house had damage to its electrical outlets. The other house had damage to its sprinkler timer. Colovich said the […]
4 days ago
NWS predicts 'skier's delight' storm, but little impact on our snowpack, Utah's drought...
Mark Jones

Flash flood warning issued for Tooele County, lightning strikes houses

A flash flood warning has been issued for Tooele County on Wednesday evening. The country road in Soldier Canyon is expected to be impacted, creating a dangerous situation.
5 days ago
KSL NewsRadio File Photo...
Marilyn Deutsch

200-year-old tree explodes in Portland due to heat wave

The tree, along with residents, endured seven days of temperatures at 95 degrees or above. A branch that fell weighed roughly 30,000 pounds.
6 days ago
The water level at Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US by volume, is at its lowest since it ...
Nouran Salahieh and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

More human remains discovered in Lake Mead’s receding waters

More human remains have been found in the receding waters of Lake Mead, authorities announced Saturday. This is the fourth time human remains have been found at Lake Mead National Recreation Area since May.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Family remembers mine worker killed in flash flood as ‘an amazing man’