The Associated Press April 3, 2011, 10:29AM ET

Year after W.Va. mine blast, family can't move on

In the year since 29 men died in the Upper Big Branch mine, many people in southern West Virginia have managed to move on with their lives.

But for Gary Quarles and his wife Patty, it's been a year of grieving and searching for answers. Their 33-year-old son Gary Wayne Quarles was killed in the blast. It was the deadliest U.S. coal mining accident since 1970.

In meetings with the other victims' families, Gary Quarles has emerged as an unofficial spokesman. He has even testified before Congress.

But the veteran of 34 years underground has not been able to return to work.

And no matter how many meetings he attends or how many investigators he talks to, he still has questions.


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