REDMOND Ã¯Â¿Â½ The national spotlight fell on a Redmond family Friday after the announcement that Gary Jensen, 53, had been killed in an effort to save six miners who had been trapped in the Crandall Canyon Mine in Emery County.
Jensen, known as "Gibb" by his friends, had worked in the field of mining for 34 years, and was part of the Mine Safety and Health Administration team that was working to free the miners who had been trapped since Aug. 6.
A former safety manager for Sufco Mine in Salina Canyon, Jensen was a native of Redmond who had served as a volunteer EMT, as well as a coach for football, wrestling and other youth sports.
Since last year, he has been a federal mine accident investigator.
"It's important that he was still faithful that something could be done for those miners who are trapped," said Robert Jensen, one of Gary's four children. The Jensen children held a press conference at the Redmond Town Park Friday afternoon to deal with an influx of media inquiries from across the nation.
"He was devoted to his family and community, as well as the miners he served," Robert said.
"His passion was mine rescue," said Dustin Jensen, another of Gary's children. "He always wanted to do everything he could to help."
Dustin said his father didn't seek the spotlight, but was willing to tell people if they were doing right or wrong.
Details of the second cave-in at Crandall Canyon have not been released. However, reports of an accident started appearing on Salt Lake City area television stations Thursday evening. By the morning, it was clear that three rescue workers were dead, and several others were injured.
The family is asking that donations be made to the families of the trapped Crandall Canyon miners in lieu of flowers. Donations can be made to the fund at any Zions Bank branch.
Funeral services for Gary Jensen were held at noon, Aug. 22, in the Salina LDS stake center. He was laid to rest in the Redmond Cemetery.
Members of the Emery County Sheriff's Office attended the services including: Capt. Kyle Ekker, Sgt. Gayle Jensen and Sgt. Tom Harrison.