Landslide victims laid to rest

Many tears were shed Tuesday at funeral services for landslide victims Jacqueline Leavey and her two children, Victor and Abbey Alanis. More than 100 mourners, relatives and community members attended the requiem mass at the St. Thomas Aquinas chapel in Hyde Park to pay their respects to the family who perished in last week’s landslide in Logan’s Island neighborhood. Despite more than a week passing since the tragic event, many friends and family still were in shock over the events. “They didn’t know this was going to happen,” said The Rev. Clarence Sandoval, who conducted the funeral services. “No one knew this would happen, but even in difficult moments, it opens doors.” One of those doors was the overwhelming response from the community hours after the slide occurred. Many dug through the 20-foot thick mud searching for the three victims, working tirelessly praying they would find the family in time. The American Red Cross, all valley fire departments and hundreds of volunteers helped clean the neighborhoods as well as the surrounding homes affected by the slide. “It was amazing how rapid and complete hundreds of those in the community came to the aid of those whose lives were affected,” said U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), on a recent tour of the landslide site. The funeral mass continued as mourners prayed for the three and Sandoval blessed their souls. Although the occasion was that of sorrow, the death of the family brought together a community of different cultures, working together as one to help the victims of the slide, Sandoval said. Three gilded coffins were wheeled to the back of the chapel where relatives kissed them goodbye for the last time. Jacqueline, Victor and Abbey will be interred at the Logan Cemetery. Leavey and her children died July 11 after an irrigation canal above their home broke, sending thick mud, cold water and rocks into the homes below. After four days of digging, searchers found the bodies of Jacqueline first, and then Abbey and later that afternoon, Victor.

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