MYERSVILLE, Md. (AP) — The family of a Maryland man killed after being partially buried in a collapsed trench says he was a happy, caring person who lived life to the fullest.

Robert Craig, 26, of Myersville, died Tuesday after a trench caved in on him at a construction site in Myersville. Craig, who had been buried from his waist down in rock and dirt for several hours, survived the initial collapse but suffered internal bleeding and a severely injured liver, said his grandmother, Martha Butts.

Butts said Craig’s family arrived at the hospital thinking they were going to get to see him soon.

“I thought he might just have a broken leg or hip or something, but then they told us he didn’t make it,” Butts told The Frederick News-Post. “And after hearing that, I was like, I just lost it. I couldn’t believe what they were telling me was the truth.”

Craig, a plumbing contractor, was engaged to be married, loved to go skiing with his fiance, was an avid hunter and fisherman, and enjoyed going to antique tractor and engine shows with his grandfather, Butts said.

“He was an absolutely wonderful person. He was very caring, loving and outgoing,” she said. “He really lived life to the fullest.”

Those who rescued Craig were surprised to hear he had died, since he was conscious and talking as he boarded the helicopter, said Deputy Amanda Hatcher, a spokeswoman for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Smith, who worked with Craig, said he dug out Craig’s chest to ease his breathing before calling 911, and that he also thought Craig was going to be fine.

“He seemed OK when I was talking to him, just in pain,” Smith said.

The sheriff’s office is investigating the circumstances leading up to Craig’s death.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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