WA-List » Fatalities: Mt St Helens, 1980

Fatalities: Mt St Helens, 1980

Published by Steve Campion. Category: People

When Mt St Helens erupted at 8:32 AM on May 18, 1980, it devastated 230 square miles of land in southwest Washington, flooded the Toutle River Valley, destroyed 200 miles of roadway, 15 miles of rail lines, and washed away more than 40 bridges and up to 200 homes.  Forests were burned and flattened.  A billion board feet of timber was lost.  Countless animals succumbed to heat, noxious gas, flood, debris, and ash asphyxiation.

The eruption also claimed the lives of 57 people. Their names are listed below.

  • Reid Blackburn
  • Wally Bowers
  • Joel Colten
  • Ron Connor
  • Terry Crall
  • Clyde Croft
  • Jose Dias
  • Ellen Dill
  • Robert Dill
  • Arlene Edwards
  • Jolene Edwards
  • Bruce Faddis
  • James Fitzgerald
  • Tom Gadwa
  • Allen Handy
  • Paul Hiatt
  • David Johnston*
  • Andy Karr
  • Day Karr
  • Michael Karr
  • Bob Kasewetter*
  • Christy Killian
  • John Killian
  • Harold Kirkpatrick
  • Joyce Kirkpatrick
  • Robert Landsburg
  • Robert Lynds
  • Gerry Martin
  • Jerome Moore
  • Keith Moore
  • Shirley Moore
  • Kevin (Seibold) Morris
  • Michelle (Seibold) Morris
  • Eleanor Murphy
  • Bill Parker
  • Don Parker
  • Jean Parker
  • Natalie Parker
  • Rick Parker
  • Kathleen Pluard
  • Merlin “Jim” Pluard
  • Fred Rollins
  • Marjory Rollins
  • Paul F. Schmidt
  • Barbara Seibold
  • Ronald Seibold
  • Don Selby
  • Evlanti Sharipoff
  • Leonty Skorohodoff
  • Doug Thayer
  • Harry Truman*
  • James S. Tute
  • Velvet Tute
  • Karen Varner
  • Beverly Weatherald*
  • Klaus Zimmerman

*Most of the dead were outside the danger zones that state and federal authorities had set up as restricted areas.  Only four people were known to be within the restricted area around the volcano.  Harry Truman, owner of the lodge at Spirit Lake, famously refused to evacuate.  USGS geologist David Johnston camped on the ridge (now bearing his name) making observations and sending the chilling last-minute radio call “Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!”  Bob Kasewetter and Beverly Weatherald were amateur geologists who were allowed to venture into the Spirit Lake area at their own risk.

Related WA-List: When St Helens Made Headlines

PHOTO: Aerial view of Mt St Helens © Steve Campion.

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