Seven Killed By Flash Flood In Zion National Park Identified; Family Statements Released

Seven Killed By Flash Flood In Zion National Park Identified
Self-portrait of the group standing before the first rappel of Keyhole Canyon on Monday, September 14, 2015. Photographed from left to right: Gary Favela, Don Teichner, Muku Reynolds, Steve Arthur, Linda Arthur, Robin Brum, and Mark MacKenzie. Photo Courtesy: Zion National Park

SPRINGDALE, UTAH – September 18, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) – Authorities have identified seven people killed in the flash floods in Zion National Park Monday when the group was canyoneering in Keyhole Canyon. Officials also released a photo of the seven before they embarked on the fatal hike.

The first of the victims was identified Thursday as Sgt. Steve Arthur, 58, a 21-year law enforcement veteran from Camarillo, California. The last victim, found Thursday, was his wife Linda Arthur, 57.

The other five have been identified as Mark MacKenzie, 56, of Valencia, California, Gary Favela, 51, of Rancho Cucamonga, California; Don Teichner, 55, of Mesquite, Nevada, Muku Reynolds, 59, of Chino, California and Robin Brum, 53, of Camarillo, California.

This brings the total killed in the flooding Monday to 20, including 12 in the rural community of Hildale, Utah and one man who was found in the Ft. Pearce Wash area of Warner Valley. The search continues for a six-year-old child still missing in Hildale.

Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said in a press release: “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to those affected by the flash flooding in Keyhole Canyon. We have witnessed an incredible community of the family members and friends of the canyoneers come together to support one another. The canyoneers along with their families and friends are in our thoughts.”
The families of the canyoneers also extended their deepest gratitude for all of the Search and Rescuers and have also requested privacy during this difficult time.

Family members issued the following statements:

Gary Favela, of Rancho Cucamonga, California
“Kind and loving father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, boyfriend, and friend. Gary was adventurous and outgoing. Canyoneering was his passion. The Favela Family would like to give thanks to everyone involved. Your generosity and compassion is very much appreciated. He will be forever missed.” -Favela Family

Muku Reynolds of Chino, California
“A beloved mother, grandmother, and friend to many. Hiking was her passion.” -The Reynolds Family

Robin Brum of Camarillo, California
“Robin was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mom, auntie, friend, and mentor. She was supremely kind and a selfless person who cared for everyone around her. She leaves a hole in our hearts and lives that will never be filled. She will be sorely missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.” -Brum Family

Steve and Linda Arthur of Camarillo, California
“Steve and Linda Arthur will be forever loved by their three children Bobby, Justin, and Allison. Aside from enjoying the great outdoors, they lived for their seven adoring grandchildren.” -Arthur Family

During the Search and Rescue Operations, over 60 searchers from multiple agencies contributed over 1,135 hours in their efforts to find the missing people. Agencies assisting Zion National Park include Washington County Search and Rescue, Kane County Search and Rescue, Sanpete County Search and Rescue, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Town of Springdale, Rockville-Springdale Fire Protection District, Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs Unit, the Color Country Interagency Fire Center, Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Canyon National Park, and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.
“We appreciate all of the support from our cooperators and staff for all of their care and assistance,” said Bradybaugh.
Monday, September 14, 2015
7:40 a.m. The group of seven picked up their canyoneering permit for Keyhole Canyon.
2:22 p.m. The park area came under a flash flood warning from the National Weather Service. The warning was publicized through several media sources and posted in all of the park’s contact stations. Canyons were closed to canyoneering.
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The group of seven entered Keyhole Canyon.
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Zion Canyon received 0.63 inches of rain in less than one hour. Rangers noted Keyhole Canyon and several other canyons began to flash flood. The flow of the North Fork of the Virgin River rose abruptly from 55 Cubic Feet per Second (CFS) to 2,630 CFS in 15 minutes. River levels this high occur approximately once every three years.
5:30 p.m. Another canyoneering group who had been through Keyhole Canyon just before the flood reported to park rangers that they had passed a group of seven canyoneers and believed that they may have been caught in the flood. Rangers located the group’s vehicles, but did not see any sign of the group. Keyhole Canyon was already flash flooding. Due to weather at the time and through the evening, it was determined that rescue operations could not be safely initiated.
9 p.m. Park rangers checked on the canyoneers again. There was still no sign of the group.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
7 a.m. The search began. Keyhole Canyon was still inaccessible to Search and Rescue crews due to weather and high water levels. Searchers were able to follow its course and glimpse into the canyon at several locations. There was no response to verbal calls. The search continued downstream into Clear Creek.
1:30 p.m. Steve Arthur was located in Clear Creek.
2:30 p.m. A private canyoneering group went through Keyhole Canyon and reported the location of an individual who was later identified as Gary Favela.
4:15 p.m. Muku Reynolds was located in Clear Creek.
5:15 p.m. Don Teichner was located in Pine Creek drainage.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 
7 a.m. The search resumed. Due to weather conditions and high water levels, the technical sections of Keyhole Canyon and Pine Creek Canyon were not accessible.
11:15 a.m. Robin Brum was located in Pine Creek drainage.
11:50 a.m. Mark MacKenzie was located in Pine Creek drainage.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
7 a.m. The search began. Improved weather conditions allowed rescuers to enter the technical sections of Keyhole Canyon and Pine Creek Canyon.
10:45 a.m. Linda Arthur was located in Pine Creek Canyon.
6 p.m. Search and Rescue Operations were concluded. An investigation is still on-going at this time.



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