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911 caller says father and son trapped in trench will haunt her

Posted at 7:27 PM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 19:27:11-04

WYOMING, Mich. -- A witness to a deadly trench collapse in Wyoming Monday says it was the most helpless she has ever felt.

Christopher Godfrey and his father Russell were doing construction work off Jordan Street SW near Division when the trench they were working in collapsed. Christopher was buried and killed. Russell was trapped and partially buried but was pulled out.

Margaret Skeel told FOX 17 she was in the backyard when she heard the cries for help and called police.

"I think he was just, you know, so stressed because the son was buried," Skeel said. "He was just digging and just digging."

Skeel lives next door to what is now a caution zone. Heavy machinery and caution tape mark the spot where Russell, 53, and Christopher, 30, were buried. The two were working in a trench on a sewage pipeline when the trench collapsed.

"He was trying to help his son but his son was further away from him and he didn't know that," Skeel said.

Margaret told police Russell was buried up to his chest and Christopher was buried at least three feet deep.

“I’m sorry for the family," Skeel said.