ST. GEORGE – A St. George woman was given a rude awakening early Saturday morning when a boulder the size of a truck smashed into the back of her home and crushing into the bed in which she was sleeping.
Recapping in part St. George News’ earlier story: The St. George Communications Center received a call at 2 a.m., Saturday, from Wanda Lee Denhalter who said she needed medical attention. In a state of shock at the time, her husband, Scot Denhalter said, she hadn’t realized a boulder had smashed into a corner of their home and injured her.
The Denhalters’ home is on South Acantilado Drive, which is located in a subdivision situated along the bottom of the eastern slope of Foremaster Ridge. A large boulder above became loose and rolled downhill, smashing into the residence below.
“She had no idea what had happened,” Scot Denhalter said. He said his wife only realized the extent of what had happened after EMTs who transported her to Intermountain Southwest Region’s Dixie Regional Medical Center showed her photos of the boulder, which they had taken with their phones.
The impact of the boulder left Wanda Lee Denhalter with a broken jaw, broken sternum and an injured leg. Despite the injuries, Scot said his wife is doing well, though her sternum is “the main issue.” Anything that requires chest movement is causing her discomfort, he said.
Scot Denhalter also said that if things had been slightly different his wife would have been killed. For one, he wasn’t home that night. Instead, he was spending the night at a son’s home. This allowed his wife to roll into the middle of their bed, he said. If she hadn’t, she would have been crushed by the boulder.
“It’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to her,” he said.
The Boulder will remain a part of the home for now, Scot Denhalter said. The Denhalters, who have been renting the property and moved in only a month ago are now residing in a hotel and may be for at least the next two weeks as they decide what to do next.
“I’d love to stay in the area,” he said. “I’d love to stay in the house.”
Scot Denhalter said he and his wife love the house, but before returning to the home – provided that is still an option in the future – he would like to know what the City of St. George may do concerning the ridge above them.
“I’d like to get some assurances,” he said. If no action is taken by the city however, he said, “I don’t want to live here.”
“I think this is a problem the city hasn’t addressed for far too long,” he added.
Scot Denhalter also said he wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of moving again. “I’d rather have my nail clipped in a Cuisinart than move again,” he said.
So the boulder will stay put for the immediate future. Scot Denhalter said the evacuators who inspected the damage told him the cheapest way to remove the boulder was to break it apart and wheel it out bit by bit. He added that the property owner was being required by insurance to get at least three estimates on the rock removal before any commitments are made.
As for the house, it has yet to be determined if the foundation has been cracked, or the roof has been sufficiently compromised before an estimate on the total costs of the incident can be made.
“I can tell you it’ll be pretty huge,” Scot Denhalter said.
He said he wouldn’t mind the idea of simply rolling the boulder out of the way and leaving it in the back yard, or even leaving it in place and building around it.
“I’d have a nice yard souvenir,” he said. “Less lawn to mow too.”
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