Durango grandfather killed in Revenue Virginius mine accident in Ouray County

OURAY COUNTY, Colo. - Rick Williams was one of two people who died after a blast at the Revenue Virginius mine in Ouray County on Sunday.

Williams was a husband, father of two grown children and grandfather to one granddaughter.

"He loved the mountains and they took him," his son said.

Nathan Williams said his father mined for many years when he was younger, and he had started doing framing and support work again recently.

“Mining is something he’s done his whole life and got back into doing – and he was doing it for his family. Everything he did was for his family.” his son said.

He describes his father as strong and loyal, a man who "knew the mountains like the back of his hand."

He grew up in the area, and used to take his son, Nathan, hunting, fishing, hiking and jeeping in the mountains.

"He taught me almost everything I need to know," said Nathan Williams.

He said his father is well known in the Silverton and Durango area.

While Nathan doesn’t know any of the details of the accident, he was completely surprised – he said this kind of risk comes with the territory.

“I know crawling down in a mine is dangerous, and people put their lives at risk to do that,” said Nathan Williams. "We try to make sense out of these things, but it was his time to go.  It's probably where he would have wanted to be -- in the mountains."

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