MT. PLEASANT, Sanpete County — A longtime member of the Sanpete County search and rescue team was killed in an industrial accident Wednesday.

Cheston Madsen was crushed while trying to replace a septic tank system in an area west of Ephraim, said Sanpete County sheriff's deputy Eric Zeeman. Madsen was the owner of Madsen Plumbing and Construction in Mt Pleasant.

He was a volunteer member of the search and rescue unit for 15 years and was the commander of the team for two of those years, Zeeman said. Madsen wasn't a certified police officer, but Zeeman said many considered him a "special deputy" because of his involvement with the sheriff's office. He also was a volunteer firefighter with the Fountain Green Fire Department for five years.

"He was a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy," Zeeman said. "He would help you anytime and all the time."

As of Thursday, no funeral arrangements had been made. Madsen is survived by his wife and several children.

The sheriff's office tweeted that donations for Cheston's family will be accepted at any Utah Heritage Credit Union to the Brenda and Cheston Madsen account.

Pat Reavy Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam