It is with a heavy heart that I report, according to an article from the Great Falls Tribune, Yogo Sapphire Mine Owner/Operator, Mike Roberts was killed in a mining accident.
"A mine accident near Utica killed a Great Falls man sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning, according to the Judith Basin County Coroner's Office.
Deputy Coroner Dick Brown said in a press release that Michael Duane Roberts, 54, was killed in a Sapphire Mine accident that was reported early Tuesday morning. The exact time of the accident is unknown, Brown said. Roberts was the only person in the mine at the time and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The cause of death is under investigation."
I am posting this with a photo of Mike doing what he loved...from the Yogo Website.
He smiles. “I love it down here. It’s like a mansion,” he says. His grin is lit by his headlamp. “But my wife wouldn’t live in a hole in the ground.” He laughs." from an interview with Explore Big Sky in June of 2011
This is extremely sad news for many in the local community who shared an evening with Mike & Laura just a couple nights ago at the "Art and Yogo Gala" benefiting Special Olympics.
A good time, a good cause and an education on Montana's famous sapphires came together at the Holiday Inn - the event raised money for Special Olympics.
"It's a cause dear to our hearts," said Laurie Roberts of the Roberts Yogo Co. near Utica. She described the basics of Yogo mining, including the absolute darkness in the shafts and the filthy laundry that results, during the event.
Mike Roberts said the sapphires are nicer to mine than gold. "Everybody in Montana likes Yogos," he said. The evening was a huge success!
That is how the Great Falls Tribune reported it.
But this page from the Special Olympics Event Program says so much about the man...
|click for a larger image...|