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Crandall Canyon Memorial

The Miners Who Died as a Result of the Original Cave-In at the Crandall Canyon Mine
 
 

  Background Music and Lyrics

Brandon Phillips Work in Progress

Brandon Phillips
June 6, 1983 - August 6, 2007

Brandon Phillips was born and raised in Orangeville, UT.

Taking a job underground, Brandon was giving himself a second chance -- turning around earlier mistakes and providing a secure home for his 5-year-old son. Gage.

A miner for 11 days, Brandon was 24 years old.

Work in Progress

Luis Hernandez
April 25, 1984 - August 6, 2007

Luis had recently emigrated from Mexico to Utah with his wife, Karina, and one-year-old daughter. Luis had been mining for only a few months when the mine caved in.

Kerry Allred Work in Progress

Kerry Allred, "Flash"
September 29, 1949 - August 6, 2007

"Flash" was the only name that Kerry's co-workers knew him by at the mine. For over 25 years, he worked underground.

Married to Bessie for six days shy of 36 years, they had three grown children whom he deeply loved. Kerry's third grandchild was born twelve weeks after the cave-in.

Flash, who loved his guitar and the great outdoors, was happiest sitting by a campfire playing music.

Flash was the shuttle car driver or "buggy operator" for the crew that was trapped in the initial cave-in.

 

Don Erickson
Work in Progress

Don Erickson
March 30, 1957 - August 6, 2007

Don and his wife, Nelda, loved to be out doing things -- exploring, traveling, or just savoring the outdoors with family and friends. Parents and grandparents in a combined family, they enjoyed being with their kids.

Many photos capture Don's joy: dusty and happy, standing next to his race car; with Nelda on their motorcycle; with friends around a campfire; holding infant grandchildren as he read the newspaper; and the oh-so-proud papa at his daughter’s wedding — always, always with that big laugh on his face.

Don worked in the mines on and off for 20 years. He was the spell boss of the team that was trapped in the initial cave-in. He was 50 years old.

 

Carlos Payan
Work in Progress

Carlos Payan
October 29, 1984 - August 6, 2007

Carlos grew up on a small cattle ranch in Sinoloa, Mexico. A quiet young man who tended to be shy, his mother thought he was too generous. "He sent too much of his pay home to me each month."

Beloved by his brothers and sisters, Carlos loved his nieces and nephews, with whom he spent much of his time. He was also proud of his car, a Mustang.

A miner for three years, Carlos was 22 years old.

 

Manny Sanchez
Work in Progress

Manny Sanchez
November 26, 1964 - August 6, 2007

Manny and his wife, Marta, were residents of Carbon County for over 20 years, where they raised four children and enjoyed spoiling their two grandchildren.

Having worked in the mines of Utah, Colorado and Wyoming for over 25 years, Manny was well known to many in the mining community. Almost every miner who saw his portrait as it was being sculpted at the art studio said the exact same words: "He was a good man."

Manny ran the continuous miner for the crew trapped by the cave-in.

The 3 Men Who Died Trying to Rescue the Miners

Brandon Kimber
Work in Progress

Brandon Kimber
June 22, 1978 - August 16, 2007

A native of Moab, UT, Brandon moved to Carbon County to be close to his young children, a 5-year-old daughter, and 4-year-old twin sons.

From the very first day he went underground, Brandon felt he'd found the profession for which he was made. A miner for three years, he loved everything about underground mining.

Brandon was crew chief of the rescue team on August 16th. When the walls of the mine imploded, one of his rescue team was struck with a large piece of rock; Brandon immediately threw himself across the injured man. The two of them were then buried under five feet of coal. Other rescue crew members began digging them out with whatever they had at hand, many dug with their hardhats.  The fellow rescuer -- that Brandon protected -- lived.

 

Dale Black "Bird"
Work in Progress

Dale Black "Bird"
August 24, 1958 - August 16, 2007

Some miners had nicknames that were used only in the mine, others had real names that were rarely used at all. Bird fell into the second category. Born and raised in Emery County, Dale has been known as "Bird" as far back as most people can remember.

Married to Wendy for 25 years, Dale's passions were his family, the desert, hunting, and his friends. The seventh of ten children, and father of two, Dale's connections with his family were strong. People talk about Dale with a smile on their faces. He lived life large and his passion affected everyone around him.

In mining for 25 years, Dale was running the continuous miner during the rescue effort. He was killed when the ribs (walls) imploded.

 

Gary Jensen
Work in Progress

Gary Jensen
March 17, 1954 - August 16, 2007

Gary Jensen was in the process of helping his younger daughter move from their home in Utah to Las Vegas when he received the call to go to the Crandall Canyon Mine.

Soft spoken, with a comedic streak, Gary found great pleasure in telling people stories and jokes. He also enjoyed collecting rocks and meeting with friends at the local coffee shop. Gary had close relationships with his children and had recently celebrated the return of his son, a National Guardsman, from a tour in Iraq. Gary and Lola were married for 34 years, raised four children and welcomed five grandchildren.

Known underground as "Gibbs," Gary was a miner for 30 years, and a mine inspector for six.

 

Building the Monument

Placing portraits on the Crandall Canyon memorial wall.

Crandall Canyon Mine
By Mark R. Cronin
ŠNovember 20, 2007

Reading the paper a quarter of nine, made the news over 3 weeks Crandall Canyon Mine.
Continue to read bad news everyday, mining disasters more loss in pointless ways.

Chorus

Coal mining addiction to the power it brings sacrificing lives to power inanimate things.
Anonymous men, the year 2007, August 6th Crandall Canyon took them.

Dirty, claustrophobic, noisy and hot, a miner's life other than family forgot.
Dealt the hands they were given and can take away alongside community that knows no other way.

Chorus

Coal mining addiction to the power it brings sacrificing lives to power inanimate things,
Anonymous men, the year 2007, August 6th Crandall Canyon took them.

An honorable vocation of true toil and dust the life of a miner born out of must.
First six men and then three more. Like the Edmund Fitzgerald, this songs keeps score.

Chorus

Coal mining addiction to the power it brings sacrificing lives to power inanimate things.
Anonymous men, the year 2007, August 6th Crandall Canyon took them.

A life of pride mixed with dread.  Was it their lot in life to be one of the dead?
With these words I mean no disrespect now that it's down on paper we won't forget.

Chorus

Coal mining addiction to the power it brings sacrificing lives to power inanimate things,
Anonymous men, the year 2007, August 6th Crandall Canyon took them.