Friends and family are mourning the sudden passing of Joshua Riggs, a 32-year-old Moab man who died last week in a rock climbing accident in Arizona.
According to a news release from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office in Flagstaff, Ariz., Riggs was rock climbing with friends in the Williams area near Paradise Forks and Sycamore Falls on Monday, Nov. 26, when he fell approximately 80 feet. After Riggs’ girlfriend called authorities for help, a technical search and rescue team responded to the area, but Riggs had reportedly already died by the time the rescuers arrived, news reports indicated.
Riggs has also left a very visible legacy to the Moab area. Riggs worked with Scott Anderson of Triassic Industries to build and install new metal and wood “Welcome to Moab” signs along U.S. 191 on the outskirts of both ends of town. Those signs were put in place last month, according to Moab Community Development Director David Olsen.
“He was an incredibly nice person,” said Olsen, who worked closely with Riggs and Anderson on the sign project.
Olsen said that on Nov. 16, he took a photograph of Riggs standing next to the newly completed north-end sign, located near the Courthouse Wash trailhead.
“I’m glad I got Josh to pose for the photo,” Olsen said, adding that Riggs did much of the work in assembling and welding the signs as part of his work with Anderson on the months-long project.
Funeral services for Riggs took place on Monday, Dec. 3 in his former hometown of Tulare, Calif.