PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Family and friends of 30-year-old Billy Spillers are getting some closure today.
He is the latest victim to be identified after the March 22 slide that crushed a residential area along the Stillaguamish River.
“In the face of a situation like this, we struggle for the words to console people,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Billy Spillers was a 2001 graduate of Chartiers-Houston High School.
He left the area shortly after graduation to pursue a career in the Navy, and was working as a chief petty officer at the naval station in Everett, Wash.
Spillers was at his home with his four children when the powerful slide hit.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s office says he – like all of the other victims – died of multiple blunt force injuries.
His daughter, 5-year-old Kaylee and stepson, 13-year-old Jojo , also did not survive the slide.
The couple’s 2-year-old, Brooke, is still missing.
His 4-year-old son, Jacob, was pulled from the debris alive.
“If I didn’t have him, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself,” said Spillers’ wife, Jonielle. “He’s the person that keeps me going every day, to get out of bed to deal with this. It’s because of him and I am thankful that they brought my son to me.”
Jonielle Spillers says her son’s rescue was a miracle caught on camera.
“We give thanks for the miracles,” said chaplain Ralph Fry. “Like the little Jacob who was spit out of the tsunami of dirt and trees.”
“I’m grateful that there are survivors out of this,” said rescuer Sean Wright. “But it still really hurts, knowing this community lost a large amount of good people.”