Les Patterson’s Monday Morning Boost: Worthy of rescue

  • A suicide attempt is a cry for help. It’s a warning sign that something is terribly wrong in a person’s life. Most people, and including Shane I believe, don’t really want to die. They want the pain to go away and they see no other alternative. They may feel they have no hope left.


    Shane showed up for work on a Tuesday morning just like normal. He worked as a mobile mechanic for Red Hills Truck and Auto Repair in Richfield. His job that morning was following up on a motorhome axle replacement from the weekend. He finished what had to be done then left to go to his weekly counseling appointment.

    He never arrived and never returned to work.

    Shane’s boss Jim Hare called a few times to see what was up but got no response. A close friend, Gayla, who normally calls or text with Shane throughout the day, grew worried after not hearing back after several attempts.

    Not returning texts, skipping work, and missing appointments are not necessarily indicators something is wrong. Yet when Shane’s normal and consistent behavior changed, it did triggered concern and those initial responses.

    Around 3am the following morning Shane called Sevier Valley Hospital threatening to commit suicide. The hospital staff did all they could to help in that moment of crisis. When Shane disconnected, law enforcement was automatically contacted and efforts to reach our family were initiated.

    Law enforcement immediately went to work. Led by the efforts of Sevier County Sherriff Nate Curtis, multiple deputies and as well as other officers began searching. Shane’s normal places were checked, questions were asked, and word was spread he was missing and at risk.

    We also began searching as a family. Extended family joined in, as did friends, and people from the community. We posted fliers throughout the county, spread the word on social media, and solicited and received news coverage on KSVC and the other local radio stations. Calls of support, assistance, and prayers poured in. Strangers reached out offering money to help out with gas and food, as well as offering places for us to stay if needed. A plane was offered to help search if the cloud covered lifted.

    We were fortunate Shane choose to use his bank account allowing us to track some of his movements over that Tuesday and Wednesday. Following those transactions, we spotted him on surveillance video one time filling up with gas. Though the footage was from two days previous, it allowed us to know it was Shane using his bankcard and not someone else. We could also see he was alone and that he appeared to be normal versus acting frightened, scared, or on the run.

    A major break in our collective effort to rescue Shane came when a UDOT employee, who was aware of the situation, spotted him Wednesday afternoon driving on the freeway. Law enforcement was contacted directly, and though they responded immediately and with urgent haste, Shane turned off before they could reach the area and they were unable to find him. Thanks to that alert yet unknown UDOT employee, we were able to significantly narrow the search.

    Sevier County Search & Rescue – FLICKR2U602

    Saturday morning, four days after Shane went missing, and after initial search efforts had been exhausted, Sherriff Curtis activated the Sevier County Search and Rescue. I met with them as they coordinated the areas they would each search. These volunteers are specifically trained to find missing people and rescue those who are stranded. When they search an area, they drive every road, look behind every tree, and explore every crevasse to ensure the area is cleared before they leave.

    That’s what happened Saturday morning. Teams of search rescue personnel went out two by two to search and rescue my brother. They drove every road in the area up Salina Canyon he was last seen. They look behind every hill, tree, and rock cropping and down into every canyon, gully, and crevice. No area was left unseen.

    Two hours into their search a two man team spotted Shane’s vehicle. They called in Sherriff Curtis who approached the vehicle and identified him.

    Then we got the call.


    When a person is in crisis other people go to extraordinary measures to reach out and help. We see this at the scenes of accidents when total strangers will stop and help. Sometimes individuals even risk their own lives attempting to save another. Such was the case of those in Logan who lifted a burning car to rescue a trapped motorcyclist. Those rescuers have been called heroes and nationally recognized for their efforts.

    The exhaustive efforts of those who helped us search and rescue Shane are just as heroic to us. They passed no judgement on who he was or what mistakes he made. They didn’t care how many times he had fallen down. They simply had the hope to help him get up one more time and then bring him home.

    We are grateful for the tender mercy that Shane chose to express his feelings of despair with a call to the hospital. He could have just disappeared leaving us with no understanding what he was intending to do. We’re grateful for the time Shane has been part of our family.

    Some have asked for the recording of my remarks at Shane’s funeral where I expounded on remembering Shane as a rescuer. You can listen to the service at this link on the Magleby Mortuary obituary page for Shane. The recording is to the right of Shane’s photo. My remarks are half way through the program right after my wife’s piano solo.


    Have a great Monday. Thanks for letting me share.

    Les Patterson

    p.s. Take 13 minutes today to remember, Talking About It Matters.

    Les Patterson loves to share stories and the “Monday Morning Boost” is his way of sharing a story or two with family, friends, and clients. Les believes every person, business and organization has a story worth sharing. Since 1997 he has enjoyed finding compelling ways to share those stories through writing and producing radio commercials at the Cache Valley Media Group. Discover how he can help tell your story at www.CacheValleyMediaGroup.com. Feedback and comments are welcome at les@cvradio.com. ©2016, Les Patterson. All Rights Reserved. To UNSUBSCRIBE, reply to this email with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line and your email will be removed.