Hooper sewer director drowned while working on a ‘routine service call’

The sewer director for the city of Hooper drowned Saturday after he fell into a pipe while working on a sewer repair.

Dennis Steele, 62, was on a “routine service call” about 3:45 p.m. Saturday near 4425 S. 6400 West when he fell headfirst into a pipe that contained groundwater, said Sgt. Cortney Ryan of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office.

A co-worker was with Steele but could not rescue him from the “valve pit,” a shallow pipe about the width of a manhole, Ryan said. Steele died at the scene.

“We are a tight-knit community and are deeply saddened by the passing of Dennis,” said Hooper Mayor Korry Green in a prepared statement. “We wish to extend the deepest sympathy to Dennis’ family and friends.”

Ryan said he didn’t know the depth of the valve pit or of the groundwater that had accumulated inside it.