February 14th, 2011
03:09 AM ET

2 University of Florida students die exploring Georgia cave

A state medical examiner will try to determine the cause of death of two University of Florida students who died over the weekend while exploring a cave in northwest Georgia.

Michael Pirie, 18, and Grant Lockenbach, 20, both died Saturday of what appears to be hypothermia, David Ashburn, director of Walker County emergency services, said late Sunday. Autopsies will be conducted, he said.

"Both passed away in Ellison's Cave in Walker County and their bodies are at the state medical examiner's office now," Ashburn said. "We think Grant went down first and Michael went down to help him."

Their bodies were removed from the cave late Saturday, he said.


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Filed under: Florida • Georgia
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. cyrusmartin

    Wow. Nice comment there.
    Thats what they get? Really?

    Sheesh. Why are so many people such jerks on the internet?
    ...prolly some 14 year old trying to rile people up.
    Sorry this wasnt a story about someone you knew. Maybe then you'd have some other perspective other than being an anonymous d-bag.

    Way to go.


    February 14, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Brasky

      I see this is your first time on the internet.....welcome!

      February 14, 2011 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      cyrusmartin, There are quite a few dirt bags on these blogs who do not deserve to breath. I agree with your comment. It's because of "people" like these that the American culture has grown cancerous.

      February 14, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. desiree

    i don't know how reckless they were, that has a lot to do with my level of sympathy. that being said, i think we all owe curiosity a big fat thanks. where would technology, and society in general, be without it? there is a big difference between careless and curious.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Shera

    My prayers are with the family so sad.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Chyna

    Wow, that's pretty sad...lets continue to pray for the family & friends of these victims...

    February 14, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. c.murray

    Do u suppose that a cell phone might not have worked in a cave? Too bad some people r so hard-hearted!!! I'm so sorry 4 Their famiilies.

    February 14, 2011 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
    • North West Corner

      Pretty obvious... went too deep inside the cave.. smoked a bowl and realized they went down too many paths and cannot find their way out... night comes, freezer mode.

      February 14, 2011 at 5:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Obviously you guys ain't cavers. No, a cell phone won't work down there, and no, it doesn't get cold at night and warm up in the daytime. People die in caves unless they take precautions.

      February 14, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. DaFilmRapist

    I guess they really liked the film "Sanctum".

    February 14, 2011 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Godsfolly

      I thought the same thing when I read the headline. Sue James Cameron!

      February 14, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Crabbycrabster

      I'd bet nearly anything that had something do do with it...and we'll see a new trend ending up on Darwin Awards page.

      February 14, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Timtim88

      I knew Grant, who was killed in the cave. I know his girlfriend. I know his best friend. To you it's just a joke. You have no CLUE what it's like seeing the impact this has had on their lives. He made a mistake, but he was not an idiot. This mistake however cost him his life. It's horrible. To all of you that think this is a joke, get a life. I've never seen such a disgusting display of heartlessness.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. melissa

    Dang, y'all are a heartless bunch. "Idiots?" "That's what they get?" Seriously...they weren't doing anything wrong, weren't hurting anyone, and all you can do is be nasty. Grow up.

    February 14, 2011 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
    • kalev

      actually they were doing quite a bit wrong. they did not have appropriate gear or clothing, they split up into too small of a group, they rigged the waterfall drop instead of the dry side, and they were NOT experienced enough for this cave. they earned their darwin award.

      February 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Billy

    We need a ban on caves!!! This is an outrage!!

    February 14, 2011 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
    • firewall

      No. A ban on stupidity is what we need, to save us from comments like yours

      February 14, 2011 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mary J

    @Those calling these two "idiots"

    They were young. A lot of people have done stupid things while they were young. Many people have just been fortunate enough to not have something bad happen in the process. Does making a mistake mean they should die?

    February 14, 2011 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      When you go into a dangerous situation, have a way out. You can't wear bulky coats in a cave, but you can carry heat packs and have friends standing by outside. I'm not going to point fingers and call names, but they're dead and shouldn't have been.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Subhuman Troll

    And kels' scab comment wins, A stupid trolling comment and all of you "mature" people weren't smart enough to ignore and gave them the attention they were trolling for. Congratulations people!

    February 14, 2011 at 5:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. zach

    first of off..my prayers and thoughts go out to the families and friends of these gentlemen!! second..to all you people making smart comments and jokes at their expense...i dont wish this on anybody but what if that was your best friend..son or brother..or even you would you appreciate the disrespectful things being said?? yes you were out of line for saying what you did..but your just soo disrespectful!! i would dare you to say what you said to the face of their mom..dad..sister..brother and see how funny your comment was then!!

    February 14, 2011 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. Darwin lovesyou

    every single day.. In the big real world people of every age are in the grip of mortality for profit... So that dogs have the best dog food and the best transportation...all in promises of a "better life".. So then prayers are answered as heartless as we choose to see it. gates is a genuis at 18? or every bevis and butthead is stupid? Take your pick. outlaw caves..

    February 14, 2011 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Stop smoking those rocks.

      February 14, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Claudia S

    I am so very sorry to hear about these two men... I go to UF as well, and have friends who go cave exploring all the time... and this is so sad to hear. My condolences go to their family who lost a son forever and their girlfriends who must be heartbroken. I hope the University organizes a vigil so the student body can pay their respects for two fallen soldiers.

    February 14, 2011 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. Horrible!

    I'm sorry for their loss. WHERE WERE THE CAVE TOUR GUIDES?

    February 14, 2011 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
    • kalev

      real caves don't have tour guides. these kids were in over their heads, and should have known better. they made countless fatal mistakes.

      February 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jedichic

    This is how scary movies start! 0_0

    February 14, 2011 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
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