Gettysburg, SD

Community mourns loss of accident victims

A joint funeral service was held Sunday afternoon at the school gym to remember Gettysburg businessman Kirk Hansen and his son, Erik.
The two died as the result of an accident at West Whitlock Resort last week that occurred while working with the family business, Hansen Plumbing.
Emergency crews were called to the river about 20 miles west of Gettysburg around 1:30 on Tuesday, Sept. 4, where it was believed the men were overcome by toxic fumes while working in a manhole at a sewer lift station. The younger Hansen, age 20, was in the manhole when his father, age 50, went in to retrieve him.
Shane Stevens of West Whitlock Resort, followed down the hole to help, and Todd Bjorklund, who arrived soon at the scene, helped retrieve both Stevens and Kirk Hansen as rescue crews arrived. The men were transported by ambulance to the Gettysburg Hospital, and from there Hansen was flown to a hospital in Sioux Falls where he died early Wednesday morning.
Erik Hansen was found by Gettysburg Volunteer Firefighter Tyler Fischer. Hansen was pronounced dead at the scene.
Over 500 people filled the Gettysburg High School gymnasium to pay their respects for the two men on Sept. 9. Special places were reserved for classmates from the GHS classes of 1981 and 2010, along with staff from the family business, in addition to the huge number of family and friends who celebrated the lives of the men.
Kirk Hansen had served as Fire Chief, and an honor guard of firefighters and the firetruck served as escort for their fallen chief and his son following the funeral.
Complete obituaries are published on page 5 of the News.
–Molly McRoberts