Death of Midvale couple under investigation

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MIDVALE -- An elderly couple in Midvale was found dead in their home over the weekend with no power.

Rocky Mountain Power said it offers numerous programs to keep customers from being disconnected.

“We encourage our customers to call us at the first sign of any trouble in paying their power bill, we have skilled representatives who go to great lengths in trying to get customers current on their payments,” said Jeff Hymas, spokesman for Rocky Mountain Power.

Rocky Mountain Power couldn’t comment on the specifics regarding the couple found dead in the cold Friday night because of confidentiality, but police confirmed when they found the couple their power had been shut off and there was no heating in their home.

“We weren’t able to find anything suspicious about their deaths, there was nothing out of place no sign of trauma to any of the victims the big question here is why both of them were deceased," said Lt. Justin Hoyal with Unified police.

The medical examiner said Howard Durrant, 79, and Sharell Sund, 87, died from a combination of natural causes and the elements related to the cold.

"You know this is just a really unfortunate situation that happened here and I think it’s important that if you have elderly neighbors that you are keeping an eye out for them check on them,” Hoyal said.

Hymas said Rocky Mountain Power is saddened by the news of the couple’s death.

"Disconnection is only a last resort -- if customers will just communicate with us and work towards getting back on track we can almost always help them to do that,” Hymas said.

Hymas said there are a number of assistance programs in place to avoid tragedies like this. The power company also offers the third-party notification plan, which allows another person or social agency to receive a copy of your overdue notice.

Visit Rocky Mountain Power for more information.


  • friend of Howard and Sherrall

    The granddaughters were in charge of all their bills and let this one laps. It’s sad to think they have to live with this the rest of their lives. I am greatfull the Durrants are in Heaven together. It’s sad it had to happen this way but maybe it was for the best.

  • geri

    RMP does offer programs but not everyone qualifies. and it takes time to qualify. If you done have the money the will shut u off winter or not. I have been so close to being disconnected this winter… So sorry for this couple its so sad .

  • Joy

    They have shut off, and overcharged for turning back on my parents power, They are both on SSDI fixed income. My father being on oxygen, and they still did not qualify for any programs. I finally paid it to avoid the shut off, but i can not afford to pay their bills every month. Such a sad story and can not believe it happen’s there should be a law against shutting off sources of HEAT during extreme winter months.

  • Tresa

    Rocky man power shut my power off last month, I have a child that is 4 and I told the guy I had just got paid that morning and I can call a payment in because the drivers are not allowed to accept payments anymore, he would not wait for me to make a payment. He shut my power off and before he was at the end of the road I had made the payment. It took him four hours to come back and turn my power back on in the freezing month of January and he seen my 4 year old so he knew I had children and I asked him to wait while I made the payment and he said “NO” .. It’s bull I owed them $148.00 and they would rather people freeze than wait 5 min…

  • paisley

    I agree with what is being said. They do not make every effort to help. My daughter is a single mom working three jobs. She became ill four months ago and now works part time and can only make small payments. She is now in the hospital and a disconnect notice was placed on the door. I called to see what I needed to pay to avoid the shut off. I explained she was in the hospital and she had small children in the home. At first they refused to talk to me and then said I had to pay $175.00 or the power would be shut off. I asked if I could make payment arrangements because I did not have that much money and I was told no. I later called to make a payment on the phone and found out the amount owed was not $175.00 but much lower. In this case I was given a higher amount owed or the power would be shut off, money which I did not have, I expect to be shut off anyway, some time today.

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