TUCSON, Ariz. – A 56-year-old Tucson man died in a rockslide while searching for rocks and minerals with a friend southeast of Benson on Wednesday.
William T. Lawrence and a 70-year-old woman were in a wash in the St. David area when he became trapped beneath 3 to 4 feet of dirt, rocks and debris, according to Cochise County Sheriff's Office.
The woman made her way out of the wash and flagged down a passing motorist for help.
Sheriff's deputies, search and rescue personnel, and the Benson and St. David fire departments responded to the scene.
The friend told authorities that Lawrence was digging in the side of the wash wall when she heard a noise. She looked and saw a large pile of debris and rock where he had been standing.
Rescuers began digging in the area of the dirt pile. A backhoe was brought in to assist in getting to the trapped man.
They located Lawrence's body at approximately 5 p.m.
The Pima County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy and the sheriff's office is investigating.