One Week Later, Prayers For Landslide Victims And Stories Of Survival
One week after a massive landslide wiped out the community of Oso, Wash., community members gathered at Darrington's First Baptist Church on Sunday to pray and tell stories of survival.
Steve Sconce was supposed to have been fixing a roof on a house directly in the path of the landslide. "I decided to not go on that Saturday," he said.
Instead, Sconce headed out of town to watch his son compete in a wrestling tournament. So at 10:37 a.m. when the hillside slid, Sconce was safely away from danger. "Normally by 10 or 10:30, I would have been on that roof, helping Billy."
Billy Spillers is feared dead along with three of his children. Miraculously, a fourth child survived, thanks in part to a young man, Isaac Hall, sitting in another pew at First Baptist.
"It wasn't much of a question,” Hall said. “If there's people there, we're going to help them out."
Hall and his friend were driving on state Route 530 when they came across a wall of debris. The two leapt into action. Soon, they were pulling 4-year-old Jacob Spillers out of the mud.
"We were just trundling along looking for anybody or anything, and looked over the site and there he was. So he was up to his waist and freezing cold, obviously and crying. So we went over there and started digging him out," Hall said.
A helicopter swooped down, and Hall handed the boy off to safety. The rescue was captured on a video that quickly went around the world.
Other members of First Baptist Church have volunteered endless hours dishing up soup and sandwiches to rescue workers. Even so, Pastor Mike DeLuca said some in his flock wish they could have done more. They're also asking the inevitable question: Why did this happen?
"We can't blame God for everything. We just can't,” DeLuca told the congregation. “Things happen. Natural disasters happen. Volcanoes blow. Mountains slide. We just have to be ready at any moment."
DeLuca said after 37 years in Darrington, he knows the community will pull through, even if life will never be the same.