Mine Rescue Attempt Ends With Tragedy
September 2nd, 2007 @ 12:36pm
by Jon Zimney/KTAR/Associated Press
A 13-year-old girl who went missing while riding an all-terrain vehicle was found dead in a mine shaft, while her 10-year-old companion was rescued with serious injuries early Sunday.
A rope team descended into the vertical shaft, where the teen was found dead, Mohave County Sheriff's spokeswoman Sandy Edwards said. Efforts were under way to remove her body. Her family had been notified of her death.
Edwards did not know how the girls got into the mine or how far down they were. She also did not know the girls' relationship.
The pair went missing about 7 p.m. Saturday and never came back. Officials discovered they were in the shaft about 6:20 a.m. in Chloride, about 17 miles north of Kingman.
The 10-year-old girl had ``major injuries'' and was being transported to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Edwards said.
While the circumstances of how the girls ended up in the mine are not yet known, Edwards tells FM News/Talk 92.3 it's important that parents supervise their children when they ride ATV's.
"There's even places out there that offer safety courses," Edwards said. "Unfortunately we receive a lot of injuries when it comes to these ATV's and these kids. Even adults as well can get out there and if they're unexperienced they get hurt. Safety classes, safety gear, and just pay attention to your surroundings."
She also says you need to know your surroundings before you ride them in the desert, or wilderness. Edwards also says it's important to contact authorities if you come across any kind of vertical mine.
Laurie Swartzbaugh, deputy director of the Arizona State Mine Inspector's office, said the office was trying to gather information on the incident and would have comment later in the day Sunday. FM News/Talk 92.3 is updating this story on air, throughout the day.
Neighbors react to mine shaft accident involving two girlsKVOA.com - Tucson,AZ,USA
September 2, 2007
CHLORIDE, Ariz. (AP) - Neighbors in the rural community of Chloride in northwestern Arizona say the two young girls that fell into a mine shaft Saturday are described as sweet girls and loved by everybody.
Thirteen-year-old Rikki Howard and 10-year-old Casie Hicks, were riding three-wheel ATV's with their father, who was on a dirt bike early last evening. Rikki was killed in the accident and Casie was seriously injured. She was flown to a Las Vegas hospital.
Neighbor Seth Johnson says "It's an awful shock. Their parents are very distraught."
Johnson said Rikki resembled and liked to act like Paris Hilton, always concerned about her makeup and appearance.
Johnson says Casie loved to play the violin.
School bus driver Cathy Kelso says the girls "were loved by everybody."
Kelso calls the incident "horrible."