A Tucson man reportedly digging for rocks and minerals in a wash southeast of Benson died after being trapped under three to four feet of dirt, rocks, and debris.
Search and Rescue personnel with the Benson and St. David Fire Departments responded to the scene, where a 70-year-old woman said she and a friend drove from Tucson to search for minerals and rocks in the St. David area, a few miles away from Apache Power Road.
Her friend, 56-year-old William T. Lawrence, was digging in the side of a wash wall just before 1 p.m. Wednesday when she said she heard a noise.
She told officials she saw a large pile of rocks and debris where he was standing. She made her way out of the wash and flagged down a passing motorist for help.
Public safety personnel began digging in the area while the Cochise County Road Yard responded with a backhoe. Workers found Lawrence's body around 5 p.m. and transported him to Richardson's Mortuary.
An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday and the investigation is ongoing.
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