Party-goers call it miracle, few injuries in large deck collapse

Mar 30, 2018, 10:07 PM | Updated: 11:55 pm

NORTH LOGAN – A house deck loaded with about 60 people collapsed underneath them during a party late Wednesday night. Chelsea Beckstead, a freshman at Utah State University was among them. She says the jacuzzi below helped break her fall.

“There’s a group of friends that throw a Thursday night party every week,” Beckstead said, explaining that the accident occurred during a game outside. “We were all on the deck, and there was a girl and a guy in the middle, racing to shave a balloon. All of a sudden, you just heard popping, and I thought it was a balloon. And then I looked down and the deck was just caving in.”

Beckstead says that while she and most of the crowd were on the outer edges of the deck, the structure seemed to cave in from the middle.

“People were just sliding in,” she recalled. “I just remember falling in and seeing people, landing under like the nails and the wooden panels.”

Beckstead says several of the men immediately started pulling others out.

“They immediately called 911, and started throwing wood out, and pulling bodies out. People were passed out,” she said.

Paramedics transported a few people to an area hospital. North Logan Fire Chief Jon Keller says several others transported themselves to a hospital to get checked out.

North Park Police Chief Kim Hawkes says there was no drinking at the party and no reason to conduct a criminal investigation.

“There were just too many people on the deck. We often don’t think about decks having weight limits,” Hawkes said. “Often times you don’t think that you would ever have that many that might cause a failure with your decking, but just be aware of the fact that when you’re starting to approach 50 or 60 people on there, that’s a lot of weight.”

Beckstead says it’s a miracle that there were not any life-threatening injuries. She credits the quick response of some of her fellow party-goers.

“They just acted really quick and got people out,” Beckstead said. “I think it could have been worse if people hadn’t acted how they did.”

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Party-goers call it miracle, few injuries in large deck collapse