Navy commander and former San Diegan among 24 killed in Washington landslide

SAN DIEGO - 10News has learned that a Navy commander who once served at Naval Station North Island is one of 24 people killed in a massive landslide in Washington.

Searchers found Cmdr. John Regelbrugge's body alongside his dog's among the debris. His wife Kris is still missing.

Four local firefighters have been part of that search and not one has slept in the past 48 hours. The last time 10News spoke on the phone with San Diego firefighter Capt. John Wood on the phone, they were tired and still working.

"It's been raining all day, off and on, but pretty much on,” he said.

More rain means trouble for rescue teams. The weather could shift the mud, open pockets of quicksand, or cause another slide. The power of the slide surprised even the local fire chief.

"You know, I saw a car out there, and we saw one piece of the car... Like an eighth of the car and it was just all twisted,” said Snohomish County District 21 Fire Chief Travis Hots. “It is just amazing... the magnitude and the force.”

It is now being blamed for 24 deaths, including Regelbrugge.

He has three sons – two of them in the Navy – and three daughters. Regelbrugge served for a time in San Diego. He also served aboard the USS John C. Stennis in 2012.

The ABC affiliate in Sacramento interviewed Regelbrugge’s son, who said that he was supposed to be up early to drive into Seattle, but he slept in.

"We feel sorry for the families and we want to bring those loved ones home, but we want to still find out, hey... who's missing? Can we bring somebody home? Can we bring somebody home alive?" said Wood.

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