‘Everyone knows this family,’ mourners say of 5 killed in Chaffee County rock slide | SummitDaily.com

‘Everyone knows this family,’ mourners say of 5 killed in Chaffee County rock slide

A Flight for Life Helicopter rises above backed up traffic Monday Sept. 30, 2013, in south-central Colorado. Roads were closed as emergency personnel work to aid hikers trapped after a rock slide on the trail to Agnes Vaille Falls. (AP Photo/The Mountain Mail, James Redmond)
AP | The Mountain Mail
BUENA VISTA — This tight-knit community woke to wrenching sorrow Tuesday as word spread that the five people killed in a massive rock slide on a popular trail, included three members of the same beloved family.

Although police have yet to identify the bodies, the residents of Buena Vista know they have lost pillars. Hundreds gathered late Monday at Buena Vista High School to mourn their lost leaders.

Dwayne Johnson, 46, was a $1-a-year football coach at Buena Vista High School who worked as an electrician and landscaper around town. His wife Dawna Lynn Johnson, 45, was a track coach at the school and a photographer. She also waited tables at local restaurants. Their daughter Kiowa Rain Johnson turned 18 over the weekend, celebrating at her high school’s homecoming with visiting relatives.The three Johnsons and two cousins visiting from Birch Tree, Mo., ages 22 and 10, were buried in a cascade of boulders at Agnes Vaille Falls Monday morning.

“Everyone knows this family. Everyone who was involved in football knew Dwayne,” said Brian Dengler, the pastor at Cornerstone Church where Dwayne was baptized — fully clothed — six months ago. “The whole family, they were gregarious. Very outgoing. Very active in the community. Kiowa just turned 18. Dwayne was so proud of his girl. Just an amazing, amazing family.”

Gracie Faith Johnson, 13, was with her family when boulders — some estimated at 100 tons — peeled off the mountain above the picturesque waterfall. She suffered a broken leg and was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Aurora.

To read this article in its entirety, click on http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24215137/everyone-knows-this-family-mourners-say-5-killed

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