LDS father of 6 dies in flood accident while checking on neighbors' safety

Published: Monday, June 24 2013 4:16 p.m. MDT

Rob Nelson of Alberta, Canada, died June 21 while checking to see if his neighbors’ homes were holding up to the flooding Sheep River. He is survived by a wife and six children.

A screenshot of Rob Nelson's Facebook page

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Rob Nelson, a man friends and family agree put others’ needs before his own, died June 21 while checking to see if his neighbors’ homes were holding up to the flooding Sheep River in Aldersyde, Alberta, Canada.

Nelson left his house early Friday morning and rode his ATV to his neighbors’ homes to inspect the sandbags he had help place the day before, according to the Calgary Sun.

“They were out until the early hours of Friday morning, and Rob came home to nap on the couch — and sporadically through the night, he’d get up to check the sump pump on his house,” said Mary Dougherty, Nelson’s mother-in-law, in an interview with the Calgary Sun. “Then he went out about 5 in the morning on his ATV to make sure the sandbags were holding and doing what they were supposed to.”

Although officials do not know the cause yet, as Nelson drove his ATV he was thrown from the vehicle and struck his head.

“He was at the last house and we don’t know what happened — whether he was startled by a deer, or somehow hit the brake instead of the accelerator — but somehow, he was thrown from the ATV,” Dougherty said. “He landed on his head, on the pavement. It’s just very tragic.”

Family and friends said they were not surprised to hear that Nelson was out early in the morning to check on his neighbors’ safety

“That was Rob. Rob was always watching out for everybody. If you needed something, all you had to do was call Rob,” Dougherty said.

Nelson is survived by his wife and six children, with the oldeset in high school. Dougherty said Nelson would tell people that his family and kids were his passion. “That was his life,” she said.

Abby Stevens is an intern for the DeseretNews.com Faith and Family sections. She is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Contact her at astevens@deseretdigital.com.

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