Man killed in cave-in |

Man killed in cave-in

A western Nevada County man was killed Tuesday afternoon after a hillside that he was working near collapsed on him.

Frank Davis, 63, was digging into a hilly overhang behind his home on Tecolode Trail, between Alta Sierra and Colfax, and using the dirt and rocks to make a level ground for a new shed behind the home, according to police reports.

When he did not return to his home at 2 p.m. for lunch, his wife, Saundra, went out to look for him, according to the report. She noticed a pile of dirt and rocks where her husband had been working and immediately started to dig with her hands and several hand tools that were nearby, without success. She then called emergency services for help.

Firefighters dug through the dirt until they found his hair sticking through. At that point they asked Saundra to go back inside the house, according to the report. A large rock was found on Davis’ upper body and one on his legs.

Saundra Davis told authorities she had previously expressed concern that the ledge would collapse as her husband dug into it. She said that when he would hear rocks beginning to fall, he would move out of the way.

Frank Davis, a retired engineer, was a volunteer firefighter for the Nevada County Consolidated Fire Department. He joined a smaller department in 1988, and that agency was soon combined with Consolidated.

“He was always there and available to participate,” said Consolidated Battalion Chief Spike Newby, an acquaintance of Davis. “Frank stayed to himself a lot. (He and his wife) didn’t have a lot of friends in the area.”

Graveside services for Davis will be held at 4 p.m. today at Sierra Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Nevada City.

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