Explosion kills 2 teens

S. Routt teenagers were jumping on oil storage tank

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Charred ground, and a pool of oil stand where an oil storage tank used to. Officials said that it appears that two South Routt County teenagers were jumping on top of one of the tanks (laying on its side in the field) when it exploded. Both teens were killed in the explosion.

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The remains of an oil storage tank lay in a field approximately 150 feet from where an explosion took place Saturday night. Two teens from South Routt County were on top of the tank and were killed in the explosion, investigators say.

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Beer cans and bottles littered the scene of an oil storage container explosion that killed two South Routt teenagers Saturday night. Officials said that Christopher King Fuller, 19, and Samuel Hedemark, 17, were killed in the explosion. Authorities say Hedemark and Fuller were jumping on top of the tank when it exploded.

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  • — Two South Routt teenagers are dead after an oil storage tank they were jumping on in the Routt National Forest exploded, the Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office reported.

    The incident occurred late Saturday night at a well site off Forest Service Road 949 near Chapman Reservoir, said Rio Blanco County Undersheriff Michael Joos. Killed were 17-year-old Samuel Hedemark of Phippsburg and 19-year-old Christopher King Fuller of Yampa. Both teens were under the influence of marijuana and alcohol, the Rio Blanco County Coroner's Office reported.

    Joos said the teens were among 16 who were partying at the site southwest of Phippsburg in northeast Rio Blanco County. All of the teens are from the South Routt area. Joos said witness statements indicated the two teens were jumping up and down on the tank when it exploded. Their bodies were found about 150 yards from the tank.

    One teen climbed down from the tank just moments before the explosion, Joos said.

    There was a ladder leading to the top of the tank where there was a release valve. Joos said one of the teens was found with cigarettes, marijuana and a lighter. Investigators believe the teens jumped on the tank, forcing vapors through the valve. Joos said the vapors likely ignited when the lighter was used, prompting the explosion.

    Rio Blanco County Coroner Randall Cochran said marijuana was found in both teens' bodies and each had a blood-alcohol level higher than the 0.08 percent legal limit for driving. Cochran said Hedemark's blood-alcohol was 0.112 percent and Fuller's was 0.161.

    A dog also was killed in the incident, but no one else was hurt. Joos said the fire was contained quickly and did not spread.

    One of the teens at the party called 911. Oak Creek Fire and Rescue and the Routt County Sheriff's Department were the first to respond. The Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office is the investigating agency.

    Joos said the storage tank was about half full with 160 barrels of oil. The well site is owned by Pinnacle and is just off Forest Service Road 949.

    Joos said 16 teens were at the party but only six or seven remained when officials arrived. Officials with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation are working to interview all of the teens. Joos said alcohol was a factor in the incident.

    Charges stemming from the incident, if any, will not be determined until after all the interviews are completed, Joos said.

    Joos said the county's lead investigator worked on the case through late Sunday night and that he expects more information on the incident later today.

    School officials said Hedemark and Fuller attended Soroco High School recently, but that neither was enrolled when the school year ended. Joos said Principal James Chamberlin is arranging for grief counselors at the school.

    Comments

    thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

    yes, what a shame, two young people dead, if alcohol was involved, this could have been prevented, I am sad...........

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    katrinkakelly 6 years, 10 months ago

    Drinking had NOTHING to do with the tank exploding!

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    Tall_Poppy 6 years, 10 months ago

    "Drinking had NOTHING to do with the tank exploding!"

    Oh, please.

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    80488mom 6 years, 10 months ago

    It's a sad statement for today's youth that many of the teens fled as two of their friends lay dead. That's absolutely shameful.

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    lmoslove 6 years, 10 months ago

    Most of you people commenting here have no heart what so ever. How would u feel if this was one of your kids or a close friend. Do you people have a heart what so ever? I don't care if your a bitter person keep your mouth shut. You have no right to comment the way you are about two boys deaths. To the families of these boys I am sorry for your lose. I am also sorry for the people who were there. It's a hard time. I want to pay my respects to Sam he was a great friend. But I am stuck in L.A. so if you would please let me know when the funeral is I would like to come pay my respects to both boys and their families. May God be with you always, and may we always remember Sam and Chris they were both amazing people that deserve respect even if they are young. I am sorry for your lose once again.

    Samantha Titus

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    80488mom 6 years, 10 months ago

    "Drinking had NOTHING to do with the tank exploding!"

    If drinking had nothing to do with the incident then please give me a logical reason why so many left the scene. I'm sorry if I appear so cynical but it would seem they had something to hide.

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    honeystinger1 6 years, 10 months ago

    I was present when the tank exploded and I would like to say that we all feel absolutely horrible for what happened. It was the most terrifying and helpless situation any of us has ever experienced. We feel nothing but sympathy and anguish over Chris and Sam and their families. I wish that people would stop assuming what happened and wait to hear the final conclusion. It's not fair to say that alcohol was or wasnt involved. You weren't there. You have no idea other than what people have innacurratly told you. Please don't judge or assume until the details are revealed. You are only hurting the families of Chris and Sam and everyone else that was present when you spread these assumptions. Only myself and the rest of us that were present will understand how that felt when that tank exploded and we realized that there were people still on it. Shame on anyone who thinks they can judge over God. It's not your responsiblity or your right to do that to anyone. I'm speaking for all of us who were there. Thank you to the Oak Creek Fire Department and the Rio Blanco County Investigators.

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    Tall_Poppy 6 years, 10 months ago

    Given that the undersherrif has clearly stated "alcohol was a factor in the incident" I do not think people are making a rush to judgement, or making unfair assumptions when they say that alcohol contributed.

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    cargo 6 years, 10 months ago

    honeystinger1 - Well said. We are all so very sorry for all of you. Please, if there is anything any of you need, please let me know and I will do whatever I can. You are all in all of our hearts and prayers.

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    JQPUBLIC 6 years, 10 months ago

    Think maybe alcohol and drugs had something to do with the impairment of their judgement.... "jumping up and down" on an oil storage tank? How about using "cigarettes, marijuana and a lighter" in the vicinity of this tank?

    "16 teens were at the party but only six or seven remained when officials arrived"... two of their friends dead and they run, it definitely sounds like drugs and alcohol played a part in this tragedy.

    The law needs to crack down on all this underage drinking. If the child is under 18 the law must quit slapping them on the wrist and returning them to their parents, too many parents seem to be dismissing this sort of behavior as part of growing up, which makes them part of the problem. How about for the first offense they make the child AND parents go through drug and alcohol classes together, parents might wake up if they must spend TIME AND MONEY because of their child's actions (it might do some of the parents some good too). The second offense, give them jail time... maybe we can save some lives here.

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    cvajks03 6 years, 10 months ago

    i am related to one of the boys that was killed, nad i would just like all of you to know this is the worst feeling a family could have. Weather or not alcohol was invalved makes no diference. Thses to boys were very young, and gona be deeply missed. if this was one of your kids would u be setting here posting comments that ssay your kids death was the result of alcohol and being stuppid?? I think not..... and how do you know weather chris or sam had alcohol in there system???? YOU DONT!!!!!! that was not released in the press..... so until you get your license to be an investigator please dont judge.... Chris and sam.......we love you very much and miss you R.I.P.

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    honeystinger1 6 years, 10 months ago

    To cvajks03, I want to express my deepest sympathies to you and your family. No matter what others may have to say, Chris and Sam were very important to you guys and that's all that matters. No one has any right to say a bad word against them. Like I said before, they werent there. My brother was there too and he was good friends with them and he is overwhelmed with grief. We all are. I hope you and your family have all the strength in the world to get through this and I hope you know that you guys will always be in someone's thoughts. Take care as best as you can.

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    thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

    cvajks, and honey, I am so very sorry for you, your families, and the boys who died, please think about this through your pain whatever happened, if people face the truth this will not happen again in any fashion, and they will not have died in vain. God bless you all............

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    Scott Stanford 6 years, 10 months ago

    Honeystinger:

    Since you were there, perhaps you can share your story. Please give me (871-4221) or Mike Lawrence (871-4203) a call.

    Scott Stanford Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today (970) 871-4221/(970) 291-9278 editor@steamboatpilot.com

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    cvajks03 6 years, 10 months ago

    thank you very much honeystinger for your concern. And im very glad your brother is ok and was not hurt. 2 Teenage kids death is bad enough miuch less 3 or more. Im also very sorry your brother had to witness such a tragidy, that is a very hard thing to have to see as a teenager. My prayers are with him that he can mentaly cope and get through this. I hope he holds no quilt in what took place saturday night, and to all the kids that stayed my props to u that was very brave and heroac, and to those who left i sure hope you had a good reason, and can feel good about your selves. And i hope no one runs out on you in time of your need.... Those were your friends that died out there and they needed you.........

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    Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

    My deepest regrets to the family of the kids. It sucks that all the anonymous people only care about pointing fingers before facts are known. Don't pay attention to them, and don't answer them in your time of grief. That's not important at this time and shouldn't concern you.

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    kathy 6 years, 10 months ago

    My heart goes out to the famies as well as the kids that seen there friends die. What a shame for others to share coments that are so mean and judge in such a heartless way. Now is not the time to judge and accuse people about what happened. Now is a time to be supportive and help the family and friends to get through this hard time. I had two people there that i love very much. The person that climbed down from the tank just moments before the explosion is my family and very lucky he still is here. I can not in my wildest dreams understand what that kid is going through at this time. I am sure it is a lot of sadness. So lets stand by the kids and help them get through this and support them in a healthey way. If there was wrong doings it really at this point does not matter. We have two young kids dead and a lot of sad people left behind. Why not hold on to these kids that where left behind and help them get through this. I am sure they will all learn from this in what ever way they learn and grow from this. What about that. Thank God that it was not any worst then it was because it could of been. Love and help each other just be nice.

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    fish 6 years, 10 months ago

    I would also like to send my deepest regrets to the families and friends of the young men who died.

    I wonder what statement it makes for us as a community that whenever we are hit with a terrible tragedy like this, people immediately make comments that are tactless (to put it nicely). We can't seem to wait to point out others mistakes while brushing our own under the rug. Law enforcement can't usually even get in from the scene before people start pointing fingers and spreading rumors, some must really like the taste of their words. Also keep in mind Karma. What goes around, comes around.

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    kathy 6 years, 10 months ago

    Fact : The kids that left where asked to leave they where not hiding nothing. They where freaked out and in shock at what they seen. They where scared. Everyone acts different in different ways. We all are different some people can handle things more then others. Some just can't and that does not make them bad people. These where young kids how are they to act. Please don't judge these kids. They did the best they could under what happened. they probley just wanted their moms. Really!!! think about what you say before you say it. These kids are just that kids! kathy

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    whyquestion 6 years, 10 months ago

    CONDOLENCES to the familys and friends!!!!!!! what a horiffic lessons for these teens to learn!!!!!!

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    cvajks03 6 years, 10 months ago

    Im so sorry Kathy, i guess i jamp the gun as well as some other people have, i did not relize the kids were asked to leave. The paper makes it sound like the tucked there tail and ran. I feel very bad for the kids that had to witness this terable tragidy, i Know as a family member of one of the boys who died, This is the worst feeling in the world......And to the kids that witnessed it, im so very sorry, i cant begin to imagane how you fill, we all just need to pull togeather and be suportave for all involved. To all the parents and kids that did not loose a loved one in this tragidy, you still lost a loved one, the mental anguish is ALOT to deal with in its own, and these kids have to live the rest of there life rememering what they saw. Yea we lost a loved one, and will never see him again, but these kids lost a friend and have to deal with the horor of saturday night.... i cant even imagane,,, my prayers and thoughts to you all that were there

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    kathy 6 years, 10 months ago

    honeystinger1, I am thinking of you and your brother and i want to let you know that I love you both very much. I am thanking God for the both of you. Just want you to know your aunt loves you both more then words could ever say. I am here for you in any way you need me. Don't listen to any bad things that people say. You know who you are in your heart and God knows and you know what that is all you need. I am so sorry you had to see that. Love your aunt

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    bikegirl 6 years, 10 months ago

    I am amazed and saddened at how judgemental and heartless people can be in the wake of such tragedy.In time, the facts will come out and the other teens will deal with the magnitude and reality of this. We as commmunity in Routt county are very quick to blame parents,kids,anybody.I have raised three teens here,they have all made mistakes,as all teens do., they are all healthy and successfull young people now..It always breaks my heart when we lose any of our youth to drugs ,poor judgement,whatever.We must remember that the youth in routt county are OUR youth .My heart and prayers go out to the families and friends of these young men.

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    kathy 6 years, 10 months ago

    cvajkoso3 I am so sorry for you and your family. I lost a brother to rock climing. He was very young. I tried to blame his partner for years. It just seems to make it easier on me to do that. After time of carring blame and hate on some one I learned that it was not any ones fault. It is was just a freak thing that happened. Bad things happen to good people. Please do not be mad at those kids. No one ran out on any one. I know how it feels to loose a young life and it is the hardest thing to have to go through. I learned the hard way and after time it was no ones fault just a freak thing.

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    80488mom 6 years, 10 months ago

    I doubt anything anyone says will diminish the sorrow the families of these two teens feels. Families mourns, the community mourns and we can only hope that something good will rise from this tragedy. It might be a wake up call for many teens. It might come in the form of a wake up call to other parents and the community.

    I don't think the members of this forum wish to hurt the families involved but see the forum as a vehicle to vent their personal anguish about the trials we face raising children in this ever changing liberal society. There are always lessons to be learned from any tragedy. I hope one is to remember to hold your children close and always let them know how much you love them because you might not have the chance tomorrow.

    To those who have lost a family member and a friend my deepest sympathy. May God bless you all and give you strength.

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    bikegirl 6 years, 10 months ago

    Even the best parenting and parents can have trouble with thier teens,and sometimes the worst parents have resiliant responsible teens.Quit judging and say a prayer for these families.

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    learn4life 6 years, 10 months ago

    First and formost my deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of these two young men. My relationship with one of these young men was through the schools as his teacher. I am also a teacher to many of the kids that were there that night. Everyone needs to keep in mind that life is full of tragedies and every community must come together to get through them with some sanity. As I sat and read the comments posted by all the readers I feel that no one is pointing fingers in the name of being malicious. This is a very emotionaly issue for those that knew these boys, those that were present when this tragedy happened and anyone who just plain cares about the value of life. My first reaction was of saddness but my second was of relief that my son was not there (selfish- yes- but human). Emotions are human and as someone pointed out people deal with tragedy in very different ways, this including emotional reactions. Anger is a part of dealing with tragedy so vent if you need - it is healthy, but remember that everyone, even those removed from formally knowing Sam and Chris,must deal with loss in there own way.
    Two last things - those of you reading this post, my students in particular, we try so hard as your teachers to help you learn from experience if you take anything from this tragedy I hope that it is the fact that life can be brutal but your must do all in your power to not put yourself in situations where you endanger yourself and others. I am not speaking of this incident specifically but everyone in the South Routt Community needs to wake up to the fact that binge drinking (kids and adults) is an issue. I have seen families torn apart from this addiction and I am plain tired of seeing over and over agian.
    Heal, care and love. Get well Jules - you are needed.

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    cvajks03 6 years, 10 months ago

    you know SOUTROUT, as a parent, i just dont understant how you can say that. I have 4 kids of my own and when they leve the house, i have to trust they are going wrer they say and doing what they say, my kids have values and morals, but as we all know tennagers will be tennagers. How many times did you leave your mom and dads house and go do what they told and taught u not to???? and dont say none cause no ones perfict!!!!!, we lost 2 boys here, and not cause the desisions the parents made but because of the decisions the boys made, and as a teenager at one time i know you are feer less at that age nothing can hurt you, im sure the boys never, ever, ever imaganed this would happen, and as a result they got the worst punashment of all DEATH!!!!! and the kids that wrer there and witnessed it, have the nightmairs and the image in there head for ever so please dont plame the parents, they did nothing wrong.....and also look at some of the agaes that were there....like chris....he was 19, an adult, after 18 mom and dad rally dont have controle over what u do, and i understand there were a few people over 21

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    Scott Wedel 6 years, 10 months ago

    What a tragic accident. Not only are two kids dead, it happened in front of a group of their friends. What a terrible thing for all. And it involves a large percentage of the local kids in that age range.

    The important factors were jumping on the tank and apparently using a lighter. While the undersheriff said alcohol is a factor, whether or no alcohol was a SIGNIFICANT factor is not known at this time.

    People make all sorts of bad decisions, sometimes when drunk, sometimes when sober.

    Jumping on this tank may have been a relatively common thing to do and these kids may have started to assume it was reasonably safe. For instance, doing donuts in front of Decker Park in Oak Creek is apparently some sort of Oak Creek tradition. I have been reporting to the police whenever I see that going on. I've actually had one of those drivers tell me it was safe to do. They don't think that a kid on a bike could surprise them or that their spinning car might not go exactly where they want it. Thus,. apparently the only way to convince them that doing donuts is dangerous is to make it clear that they will be given a ticket that could result in losing their license.

    It is not realistic for the Sheriff's dept to drive every road every night to check out every spot that kids might be hanging out. It is up to local citizens to report intolerable dangerous activity and to be willing to sign the police complaint.

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    80488mom 6 years, 10 months ago

    These kids made a mistake. They are human. We all make mistakes and hopefully we are around to learn from them. These two weren't as fortunate. Maybe the loss of others can be prevented.

    I am seriously concerned about the rampant use of alcohol and drugs among teens. Unfortunately, it's an age old problem that often defies resolution. As parents we can't send our kids off with a wish, hope and prayer. We have to be more diligent.

    I've heard kids in this community comment that "that's what we do...we drink....we go out in the woods where we can't hurt anyone." Well, someone was hurt this time and I hope others open their eyes.

    I can't even begin to imagine the pain, loss and regret the parents of these two teens feel. I hope the community wraps them in their loving arms and comes up with a fitting tribute to their children so that their death won't have been in vain.

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    Michael_T 6 years, 10 months ago

    In the end once this is fully investigated there may be things that we need to addressed as a community. Right now our main focus should be the kids directly affected and their friends who are no doubt grieving. Lets wait till all the facts come in before we start judging the kids and their parents. This should be a time for support and caring.

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    Scott Wedel 6 years, 10 months ago

    That some people with so messed up personal lives can post hateful comments so quick to place blame just goes to show that lacking a conscience, being hateful and messing up your own life are all interconnected.

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    Troutfish0507 6 years, 10 months ago

    Our hearts go out to both families during this tragic time. Both boys well be missed dearly. We love you Jules, we are here for you if you need us. R.I.P-Sam and Chris well never be forgotten. Love, The Trouts

    The angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hand of God. ~Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

    Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. ~Author Unknown

    Although it's difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow. ~Author Unknown

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    whitexoxo 6 years, 10 months ago

    THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT THEY INVITED THEMSELVES ONTO SOMEONE ELSE'S PROPERTY WHERE THEY HAD NO BUSINESS BEING.

    Who cares if you're jumping on it, smoking on it, or having a picnic on it, it's not yours, leave it alone!

    Although I must say, JUMPING on an OIL TANK while SMOKING (?) is incredibly stupid...

    You want to gamble you have to take the losing hand with the winning hand. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people who disrespect the property of other's.

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    learn4life 6 years, 10 months ago

    It is obvious to me that some are using this site as a place to mourn while others are using this site as a place to comment on the event (emotions set aside). Would it be that difficult for the Steamboat Today & Pilot to set up a page for the members of the South Routt community that are using this page to mourn and remember to have of their own? This way they do do not feel ridiculed by those who are using this page to voice opinion on the issue. Please help these people to heal not fuel up controversey. I believe that both uses could be done with two seperate pages.

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    80488mom 6 years, 10 months ago

    THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT THEY INVITED THEMSELVES ONTO SOMEONE ELSE'S PROPERTY WHERE THEY HAD NO BUSINESS BEING.

    That's the IMPORTANT THING????? I find those remarks heartless and cruel. The important thing is two young lives were lost, regardless of circumstance. If you can't find sorrow in your heart for those young teens and their families I truly feel sorry for YOU.

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    80488mom 6 years, 10 months ago

    Dear Learn4Life - I think the funeral home can help with a Memorial Page or someone else familiar with web applications.

    Perhaps you could call Cargo and ask her to facilitate organizing a candle light vigil sometime this week. That would probably be a very healing thing for your community and an opportunity to get together and grieve.

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    Scott Wedel 6 years, 10 months ago

    Disrepecting property of others justifies not feeling sympathy for two deaths??? That is incredibly stupid.

    Sometimes being incredibly stupid just happens. Sometimes it has terrible consequences and sometimes no consequences at all.

    In hindsight, it is easy to recognize what was stupid. Until then it often seems like fun.

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    learn4life 6 years, 10 months ago

    Thanks for th suggestions - but I guess my point is that there are two very different points of view that are colliding on this one page. One way to alleviate this small "shouting match" taking place on this site is to set up a different link for those mourning - they have already been checking this link anyway. The pilot opened discussion on this issue and should as a service to their readers do what is needed to help them whether it be in term of mourning or lashing out.
    I have to say that even though I know the victims of this tragedy personally and am saddened by the event, I do not blame whitexoxo for posting his opinion - there is a point to be made.

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    honeystinger1 6 years, 10 months ago

    whitexoxo, what kind of compassion did your parents teach you? Have you ever been present to something so horrific? You basically stated that they deserved what happened to them. Have you ever watched something explode knowing there were people on it at the time and there's not a damn thing you can do about it? Have you ever ran into fields screaming names of people when you knew they wouldnt answer back? I hope you never know that pain. I dont know what kind of person you are, but I hope to never know you. Your the type of person who shouldnt be allowed to post their mis-guided viewpoints online or anywhere.

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    80488mom 6 years, 10 months ago

    Learn3Life - I wasn't questioning his point.....just his lack of empathy.

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    JazzSlave 6 years, 10 months ago

    80488mom:

    Condolences for the lost and acknowledgement of poor decision making are not mutually exclusive. But for the bad choices, there would be no commiseration.

    I lost a close cousin to AIDS when I was in my 20s. I bawled like a baby at his funeral and not a little of that anguish was fueled by fury derived from the fact that he had been stupid enough to stick a f*&%ing needle in his arm.

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    msnative 6 years, 10 months ago

    My condolences to the families of both boys. I have been reading the comments posted here and thought I would like to share with everyone something that was written recently in the Craig Daily Press regarding an accident here in Craig where I live. I'm sure everyone has heard about the 3 young men who died here when the car they were in went off the Sandrocks. The Daily Press Editor in one of the most profound editorials that I have ever read, provided us with the best insight to use in such situations. He encourages all of us with young people in our lives to talk to them, to urge them to remember that the formula for such tragedies is very simple - "one brief moment colliding with one bad decision", in that instant lives are lost, futures are gone. As in the case with our 3 young men here, I am sure that these two boys would if they could change the decision that brought on this tragedy, but unfortunately they can't. The point is whether alcohol was involved or not doesn't really matter. What does matter is that 2 more of our youth is gone and if we want to see a decline in these tragedies we must learn from them. Again, my prayers and thoughts are with the 2 boys' families, and I hope that you are supported through the difficult times ahead.

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    dmiller 6 years, 10 months ago

    Parents, if you are interested in being a part of the solution, several Northwest Colorado agencies are working together to create a campaign to prevent underage drinking in Routt County. We need your feedback on our campaign ads as well as your thoughts and observations on teens and alcohol. If you are the parent of a teen, please help us by attending a short interactive discussion on Tuesday, June 26 from 7-8 pm in Conference Room 2 at Yampa Valley Medical Center. For more information or to RSVP, call Diane Miller at the VNA 871-7609.

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    Scott Wedel 6 years, 10 months ago

    whitexoxo's point is stupid.

    Trespassing and disrespecting property is wrong Does it in any way come close to justifying the death of two kids? Absolutely not.

    whitexoxo would have a reasonable point if their cars got stuck and they had to be rescued or something like that. But even the earliest declarations of human rights recognize that trespassing does not justify death. He is expressing an opinion that basically all civilization has realized is immoral Thus, there is nothing wrong with making that point, but it does show an exceptional level of ignorance and lack of compassion.

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    Dina Murray 6 years, 10 months ago

    The South Routt School District has put together a counseling team to be available to any students or families that have been impacted by this tragedy. Call Dina or Lori at the school administration office at 736-2313 for more information.

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    learn4life 6 years, 10 months ago

    Scott, I understand where you are coming from in regards to whitexoxo's lack of empathy, but when kids or adults alike go out into the forest to party they put themselves in danger. The surroundings are unknown and often majority of the people at a party are not in the fame of mind to be extra cautious. Take for instance the women found face down dead in the water up there just two weeks ago. She wandered off not with any intention to do harm to herself, blacked out from her blood alchohol levels and drowned. The point being that there are very few variables in life tht we can control but we can control our own actions. Whitexoxo is saying the same thing but in a more detached way.

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    dundalk 6 years, 10 months ago

    To Bike Girl: I don't perceive some of the harsh comments as mean-spirited but rather some expressing their angst and concern that this community seems too laxed when it comes to the OBVIOUS under-age drinking issue.

    As parents, we often times become upset when needless tragedy befalls our youth population.

    What upsets me is that in a group of party youth, so very few stayed to speak with authorities. Those actions speak volumes as to the lack of integrity of the wayward teens.

    With that said, indeed it is always sad to learn of young people leaving this world so early in their lives.

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    Scott Wedel 6 years, 10 months ago

    Learn4life, You are saying that there are unrealized dangers in the outdoors.

    Whitexoxo is saying that trespassing justifies feeling no sympathy for two deaths.

    You are not saying the same things in different ways. You are saying very different things. His concerns were with property and trespassing.

    As for the woman's death, seems to the bigger "danger" of outdoors seems to be that drinking as much as possible is easier to do outdoors. If you drink elsewhere you are more likely to have to get home, but if camping then people drink until they pass out.

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    Scott Wedel 6 years, 10 months ago

    Also, it is unfair to say that those that left the scene were wrong to do so. We do not know if they left to hide their involvement.

    They had just seen something horrible. They could do nothing to help the victims. A remote place like that would require a while for the police to arrive and then it would take a while to give statements and so on. I see nothing wrong for some to have gone home and gotten emotional support as long as everyone there did talk to the police eventually.

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    learn4life 6 years, 10 months ago

    No Scott I am saying that if kids or adults are going to make the choice to drink or do drugs there are consequences, regardless if it is at home or outdoors. People went to that party knowing that they were violating many laws and values (under age drinking, possession of illegal substances, tresspassing, etc.). When people are in an altered frame of mind it is hard to be aware of your surroundings and who is doing what. It would have been just as easy for this party to take place in a house in oak creeek and someone shoot off a gun that accidently ends up hitting an innocent kid at the party. Bottom line is that the kid that ends up being hit made the choice to be at the party. No this does not mean people should not go out and have "fun", what ever that may mean for each individual, but it does mean that every person is responsible for their own actions. Trespassing was a concious decision - as were many others made that night. White is just saying that many poor descions were made that resulted in this tragedy.

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    whyquestion 6 years, 10 months ago

    after reading the above comments, one thing appears to be lacking ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE ADULTS WHO PROVIDED THE BOOZE AND DRUGS!!!!!!!A MESSAGE NEEDS TO BE SENT TO THEM !!!!!THEY NEED TO BE PROSECUTED!!!!!THEY ENABLED THESE TEENS TO PARTY!!!!!

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    Scott Wedel 6 years, 10 months ago

    Article now mentions the victims blood alcohol content.

    Makes me wonder if someone that has been drinking would still be able to smell gas vapors. And whether the teen that had just climbed down had smelled gas and thought it was time to leave?

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    bikegirl 6 years, 10 months ago

    To dundalk Yes,I agree underage has and continues to be a serious problem in our community,my point is rather than address these issues ,simply send a prayer to the families,and not criticize the parents at this time .Let them mourn and grieve.The what if's will be there,believe me.

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    clyon 6 years, 10 months ago

    Again, for those parents who would like to get involved in addressing the issue of underage drinking, consider this opportunity to be part of the solution: Several Northwest Colorado agencies are working together to create a campaign to prevent underage drinking in Routt County. We need your feedback on our campaign ads as well as your thoughts and observations on teens and alcohol. If you are the parent of a teen, please help us by attending a short interactive discussion on Tuesday, June 26 from 7-8 pm in Conference Room 2 at Yampa Valley Medical Center. For more information or to RSVP, call Diane Miller at the VNA 871-7609.

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    80488mom 6 years, 10 months ago

    Dear Why Question - it's a good possibility the kids took the alcohol from their parent's homes. One beer here, bottle of whiskey there.....I can't imagine any adult in their right mind providing alcohol to an underage kid. Kids can be resourceful when they want to be and they are far more sophisticated these days than we ever were.They also have technology that we didn't have....cell phones...instant messaging...and can put together a gathering easily.

    I would wonder who told the kids to leave knowing that alcohol was a factor in the accident and the probability existed that others were intoxicated or under the influence. I'd hate to think of a bunch of kids driving impaired. Instead of asking them to leave I think it would have been wise to call their parents and ask them to be picked up. It's all speculation at this point. All the facts aren't in. I just hope something positive rises from the ashes of this tragedy.

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    Scott Wedel 6 years, 10 months ago

    We also do not know if the teens left the scene to hide their involvement or if they left because they were emotionally distraught. As long as everyone has cooperated with the police then it was not wrong to leave, especially considering the remote location.

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    dave reynolds 6 years, 10 months ago

    I drank underage although my parents said not to..thats beside the point..I worked in the Patch(oil)..and really wonder why there wasn't a permant valve(always open on a dead tank) to release these dangerous gases and why it was so accessable.. as a gauger for Shell,Texaco and Permian Oil I remember countless times opening the tanks and practicly falling off the ladder or platform from the fumes..this is very tragic and my heartfelt sympothy goes out to the families and friends of these youth who have been robbed off there life at such an early age..I'm sure that heaven is a better place with their souls in it..mucker you are muck..show some compassion..you seem to know it all..run for president solve all our problems..sorry no disrespect intended ..but he is clueless..and yes I am a parent

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    rogue_theory 6 years, 10 months ago

    I think the real problem with underage drinking is the fact that teenagers will ALWAYS want to drink and party and we force them out into the woods to do it. Parents are not the problem...that is why the kids weren't at home. They likely had to HIDE their intentions from their parents, resulting in them drinking in a dangerous environment, rather than at a supervised home, with loving parents.

    Making kids wait until the last year of college before they can legally have a drink is ludacris, in my opinion. Kids should be introduced to alchohol well before they are sent off to college, perhaps even in high school, as this tragedy suggests. How many kids per year die during their first year of college as a result of alcohol poisoning?

    So another tragedy has occured...let's really hunker down and think what we can do to STOP underage drinking and drug use. HARSHER laws is clearly the answer. The drinking age should be raised and parents who provide alcohol for their kids should be JAILED for a LONG, LONG time.

    I'm sure the above answer is what a lot of people are thinking, but ironically, it seems to only indirectly encourage more tragadies like this one. Teenagers are rebellious by nature, thats just part of being a teenager. There is no way to stop them from drinking and using drugs, unfortunately. 20+ years of unsuccessful "Just say no" campaigns proves this point. Furthermore, by punishing adults we remove the parents ability to legally provide a "safe place" for kids to learn about substance use, first hand. Adults are imediately called "bad parents" for even thinking about having a party where their kids can safely drink - as a result, kids go elsewhere to do "bad" things...and occationally, they don't come home for it.

    I'm sorry. I feel terrible for all involved both directly and indirectly...but the real problem is our LAWS taking away a parent's ability to parent.

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    jadealmeida11 6 years, 10 months ago

    i was there to when the tank exploded and i dont think its very considerate of a lot of you to talk s**t the way you are. i saw what happened and know what went on. 80488mom you have no right to be talking you werent there. those people didnt leave so they wouldnt get in trouble, they left so they could go get help. and just so everyone knows the tank didnt explode because they were jumping on. they were just standing there when it happened. it wasnt private land and there werent any signs posted up saying we couldnt be there. no one at the party gave any of those boys drugs they came with them. and those boys may have been drunk but most of us werent and werent there for very long before it exploded. all of you say underage drinking is horrible but all of you have been there so stop being such hipocrits.

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    jadealmeida11 6 years, 10 months ago

    SAM and CHRIS we will always remember you. we love you so much. may god be with you both. you guys were great friends and will never be forgotten by anyone.

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    jadealmeida11 6 years, 10 months ago

    there werent any guns fired at the time when the tank exploded and no one was shot. no one really knows what happened there. no guns, no fireworks, no smoking on the tank, the fire wasnt even close enough to cause it, nothing we knew about could have caused it to happen.

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    fireandice 6 years, 10 months ago

    Jade, you are so right. it is a terrible thing that happened and my heart goes out to all of you kids that were there and saw this happen. I can't image the grief and loss their families and friends are feeling right now, the last thing they need are people judging them without knowing the facts. I would love to figure out a way to protect all the kids in this world, but it will never happen. Just remember you are all loved very much and people try to make sense of it however they can-by blaming or rationalizing or what-ifs. I am so thankful that my girls were not there-they could have been. If there is any way I can help, let me know. Love, J-(amber and trinas mom)

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    lmoslove 6 years, 10 months ago

    I want to say I'm sorry to the families of both young boys. I didnt know Chris but I knew his brothers. But Samuel was a personal friend I met him in Soroco and I am very sad to hear the news. I am sorry to both families I really am. I wish I could say more but it seems I have no words. Let me know if I can do anything to help.

    Sam Titus

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    madmoores 6 years, 10 months ago

    I would like to pass along my condolences to the families and friends, what a tragic outcome to what was supposed to be something fun. In reference to the accident that killed 3 Craig men recently, I am going to tell you all what I do with my daughter to "teach" her about things that can happen. Call me cruel, call it bad parenting but it is my method and I am hopeful that she will remember. A few weeks ago, 3 men died when their Jeep Cherokee dove off the tallest part of the sandrocks and landed on its top, killing the 3 inside. When the reports came out and we all knew that they had to much to drink that night, I took my 7 year old daughter to the scene to explain to her what the outcome of her actions could be. I showed her the skidmarks on the top and the site where it landed below. I am hoping as time goes by and she gets older that she will remember these things and use good judgement based on what we have seen and talked about. Whenever something tragic like this happens(especially to our youth)we talk about it and I take her to the scene(far after the fact) so she can see first hand what can happen when judgement is impaired or misused. I even took her to where the vechile was being stored so that she could see what can happen to something that a kid might think of as indestructable. I tell her the truth, I don't hide the obvious and I explain why things like this happen. We won't be coming to your part of the country to look at this accident but we will be sitting down at the computer and we will go over this story and all of your comments, cruel ones and condolences. She is very wise for her age and I believe that doing things like this is why. As sorry as I feel for those who lost someone they love, I am trying to keep the one I love and I think something can be gained when things like this happen, I guess it is the "your loss, my gain" theory. I hope all those involved have a new outlook on life and its consequences and will visit this site to engrain in their minds that using altered judgement and consuming substances can lead to accidents and tragedy. I lost my best friend when he drowned in a lake that he frequently swam in. He was drunk. I have taken my daughter there also. As tough as it is for me to go back to the scene of that, I want her to realize that those close to you can be affected as well. Lets not be cruel to those trying to grieve and keep this thread civil. Once the facts come out then you know-it-alls can start your own finger-pointing thread. Go home, hug your kids, tell them how much you love them because tomorrow is another day and it just might be that one day that we as parents all dread. Peace to all of you.

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    katrinkakelly 6 years, 10 months ago

    Thank you Paddlefisher for the insight concerning the "PROPER" valve that should be on a dead oil tank! Possibly the owner may have some "LIABILITY" issues?

    As I said at the top of this article,

    Drinking had "NOTHING" to do with the tank exploding!

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    dundalk 6 years, 10 months ago

    katrin:

    If any of those present were drinking, therein lies the feasible probability of what some might refer to as "egging someone on", classic "I dare you to", and the ever famous, "if you do it, I will next".

    It's referred to as inciting illegal behavior.

    So yes, booze and drinking DID have something to do with it.

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    katrinkakelly 6 years, 10 months ago

    After reading today's article, I would agree that drinking was an issue with this tragedy. Anyone jumping on top of an oil tank could have this happen to them, drinking or not.
    I hope the adults that were present are raked over the coals that were left behind.

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    honeystinger1 6 years, 10 months ago

    dundalk: There was no egging either of those boys on when it came to them jumping. I'm sure if they knew they were about to die they wouldnt have been doing it. No one was daring them to do anything. Where the hell are you getting your information? Or are you assuming? Everyone is doing a damn good job assuming things.

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    dundalk 6 years, 9 months ago

    Honey:

    I stated that the "feasibility" could exist. I did not say that it occurred.

    I have no secret info. I offered a possible scenario as to how 2 kids might have climbed upon an oil tanker, with marijuana and alcohol in their systems, as has been established by the medical examiner, and used that dangerous platform as a trampoline while adults and teens watched.

    Can anyone who was actually at the incident answer me this - When you saw the 2 kids behaving in an unwise or unsafe manner, was an attempt made to sway them to a better activity? DId all those present just remain silent and watch, all while do nothing to prevent the tragedy? Was alcohol so much in excess that no one was capable of perceiving the obvious dangers involved?

    Feasibility my dear.

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    cvlaz 6 years, 9 months ago

    Go volunteer at a youth center and try to make a difference and counsel the next generation of "partiers" Those of you who are judging-we dont care what you think your opinion doesnt matter but---you actions could-We have all done things as kids that our parents would not have approved of-and that our parents didnt know about-Thank God it didnt cost us our lives. It is a time to grieve and also to celebtrate their lives. Respect what these families are going through and if you cant report something encouraging and supportive then stick your keyboards where the sun dont shine. We dont care what you say-but we will applaud what you do to make a difference

    May god prepare a beautiful place for both of them and their bright lights show others the way

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    dundalk 6 years, 9 months ago

    ...celebtrate their lives...? Are we celebrating them dropping out of high school? Smoking pot? Drinking? What is there to feel good about here?

    Grieve - 110% yes. Grieve that these 2 kids did not have parents who were willing to enforce their attendance at school. Grieve that these kids felt that smoking pot and drinking were ways to feeling accepted, involved, or whatever to a group.

    Grieve because it seems that a lot of adults failed these 2 kids and now all we have are 2 kids who will never see a life beyond what adults gave to them.

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    dave reynolds 6 years, 9 months ago

    sbvor..OK so sue me it was an assumption..back off ..give these people abreak..I'm sure you have no skeletons in youe closet and never never ever done nothing wrong when you were young or other wise..give it a rest.most of your posts are mean spirted..factual yes and yes you are CPU literate..I posted what I knew from working in the Patch years ago thats all..its a time to pray for the families and friends of these two boys..try doing that maybe your energy will be better spent.

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    jadealmeida11 6 years, 9 months ago

    sam hi this is actually jessica almeida and i thought that i would let you know that their funeralls are going to be on saturday the 30 at 2:00 Pm thank you for your sopport jessica

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    Hadleyburg_Press 6 years, 9 months ago

    I weep for the parents of these young adults who were blown up while jumping on an oil storage tank. I deeply weep for the parents of the young men and women who are blown up daily for jumping into a humvee...

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    cvlaz 6 years, 9 months ago

    Kathy

    The Lintel family offer you our strength to help you get through this-we have been talking and thinking of ways to help. You are a loving mother and unless those who are judging have seen that light in your eyes they dont have a clue of the sacrifices and commitments you have made for your children. We all know first hand-No one can take that from you. God has a better place for your son-He is probably fishing with Grandpa Cap. Just know he is surrounded by love and serenity. We will see you soon---I am proud of you becoming active in trying to help your community find a solution for the "young and the restless" If anyone can do it you can. God bless you and yours Your Cousin Caroline

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    Geri Bruggink 6 years, 9 months ago

    Anonymity breeds animosity.

    For those of you choosing to cloak your opinions in anonymity, you also have chosen to hide by disassociation. How difficult is it to be the inquistor, the acquisor, and/or executioner behind a mask? Why are you creating a witch hunt? Finding fault is as easy as looking within.

    As for Sam and for Chris, it is God's will. They were young adults living life to their enjoyment, as we all should, as each day our last. Everyone has their reasons: for living, having lived and even having death beckon or be beckoned.

    We all have two guarantees... life and death (choices of a higher being). Those who go before us, do so... for the most part, without anonymity; thus, as in this case become targets of those who choose to not accept their own identities and/or past choices (mistakes). What will come of your judgement?

    As adults, young adults, teenagers, children, we all make choices... some of which are not well educated ones, because we did not yet have the necessary knowledge of the consequences of those choices until after the choices were made.

    For some people hinde-sight is 20-20. Unfortunately Sam and Chris made choices, to include asending the tank, knowing or unknowing of the risk involved. They did not return... choices accepted without terms. Others were lucky to have returned from the ascent and their choices made that night... choices accepted without terms.

    Those touched by this event can now look back and learn from this experience, as Sam and Chris can no longer do. Do not use this experience in vain. Please, embrace your pain and suffering... they would want you to learn from this experience; and remember their love and friendship, their faces, their touch, their laughter... for that is truely their gift to you.

    No one can right the choices of two young adults. Choices of which they would not have made knowing the finality of the outcome, to include the pain and suffering of their families, friends, and community.

    It is with my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of Sam and Chris.

    Geri Bruggink Oak Creek

    P.S. May I suggest a Memorial Page on MySpace... as a private sanctuary for the memory of Sam and Chris.

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    JazzSlave 6 years, 9 months ago

    geribruggink:

    "God's will."

    Jesus H. Christ.

    God's will that these 2 kids could be so directionless and misguided that they would deliberately debilitate their common sense and good judgment with alcohol and grass, climb up on top of a tank of petroleum and prance around with fricking lighters so they could blow themselves up- inflicting untold misery, despair, and anguish upon those who loved them.

    Desolation, loss, and despair = God's will.

    Pour yourself another Dixie cup full of Bob Jones' Kool Aid, geribruggink.

    I have never been more grateful to be an agnostic, and that I am not beholden to geribruggink's depraved perversion of what a supreme being is all about.

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    Thufir_Hawat 6 years, 9 months ago

    jazz... that kind of vitriol is why lots of christians feel persecuted.

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