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UPDATE: Names of Missourians Killed in Colorado Released

BIRCH TREE Mo. -- The bodies of 5 people, killed in a rock slide in Colorado, have been recovered near Nathrop. Tuesday, officials in Colorado confirmed two of the victims are from Birch Tree, Missouri.
BIRCH TREE Mo. -- The bodies of 5 people, killed in a rock slide in Colorado, have been recovered near Nathrop.  Tuesday, officials in Colorado confirmed two of the victims are from Birch Tree, Missouri.

Mountain View-Birch Tree school superintendent Jerry Nicholson tells KOLR10 News he was informed of the deaths by family members.  He declined to identify the people killed, but said one was a 5th grader at Mountain View Elementary School and the other, an older brother, graduated from the high school "about four years ago."

The two were among 5 family members killed when a slide of massive boulders and rocks slide down a mountain side near Agnes Vaille Falls.  One girl, Gracie Johnson, 13, survived and was taken to a hospital in Aurora, Colorado with a broken leg.

The Chaffee County sheriff's department told the St. Louis Post Dispatch the dead "are Dwayne Johnson, 46, and Dawna Johnson, 45, Gracie's parents; and her 18-year-old sister, Kiowa-Rain Johnson. The other victims were identified as Baigen  Walker, 10, and Paris Walkup, 22, both of Birch Tree, Mo. They were nephews of Dwayne and Dawna Johnson."

Nicholson says counselors will be on hand at both the elementary and high schools in Mountain View, to help any students or staff deal with the emotional impact of the deaths.

Chaffee County Sheriff Pete Palmer told the Denver Post some of the boulders that hit the group were as big as cars, estimated to weight 100 tons.   "There's no one alive up there," he told the Post.
Crews said they were able to see the bodies, but recovery efforts were hampered Monday evening, when geologic engineers deemed the area too unstable.

The Post report a witness who saw the rock slide ran down the 1.5 mile trail to call for help about 11:00 am Monday, telling authorities five people were buried under a wall of boulders.

The cause of the collapse is unclear, but the county's undersheriff told CBS Denver Colorado's recent rain and flooding could have contributed to the tragedy.  He points out that when you have moisture, frost and thawing, it causes rock slides.
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