Cokeville Bombing Incident: Penny Young Cokeville – The Hero

Overview

The Cokeville Elementary School Explosion is one of the most devastating disasters to ever strike a school in the United States. On May 16, 1986, an explosion and fire rocked Cokeville, Wyoming, injuring more than 150 people and killing two elementary school students. The cause of the explosion has never been determined, but investigators believe it originated in the school's two-story basement, where 55-gallon drums of air force surplus fuel were stored. The explosion caused extensive damage to the building and surrounding area. Penny young played a big role in minimizing the loss, so now you might be looking for Penny Young Cokeville where is she now.

A memorial statue stands on campus today, marking what is now referred to as "the miracle at Cokeville." On the morning of the explosion, David Young entered Cokeville Elementary School to take hostage more than 150 students and teachers. 

Young ordered everyone but two students to leave when he entered the classroom, where 5th graders Amanda West and Bryan Zollinger were seated. 

He demanded that a local radio station broadcast his demands: $200,000 in cash, a getaway airplane, and safe passage to his desired location of the South American country of Suriname.

"I didn't think we were going to get out alive." – Amanda West, May 16, 1986; despite the situation, Zollinger remained calm and began talking to Young. 

He discovered that Young was not a member of any known terrorist group, but he wanted to denounce the government and seek revenge for the death of his brother, who had recently committed suicide. 

Young allowed both students to leave the room to call their parents and relay his demands. 

While Zollinger was on the phone with his mother, West grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed it in Young's face, temporarily stunning him. 

She then ran to the office to tell the adults what was happening. Meanwhile, back in the classroom, Young regained consciousness and recaptured Zollinger. 

He ordered West to return to the room with a gun he had taken from the office. When she refused, Young pistol-whipped her and dragged her back into the room.  

Just as he was about to shoot Zollinger, the bomb went off. The explosion and fire injured more than 150 people and killed two elementary school students.

penny young cokeville where is she now


A Day of Terror

In the small town of Cokeville, Wyoming, on May 16, 1986, a day that would change the community forever. A bomb exploded in the Cokeville Elementary School, claiming the lives of one teacher and one student and injuring dozens of others. 

The explosion happened at about 1:30 p.m. when most students were outside in a grassy area. Classes were getting out at the time of the explosion, so most students and teachers were in the open when it happened. 

The bomb was hidden in a duffel bag located inside a locker in the girls' gymnasium bathroom on the second floor. 

It was placed there by David and Doris Young, the parents of two children who attended the school. The bomb was made from propane tanks, gasoline, and dynamite.

The explosion caused extensive damage to the school. Windows were blown out, and the roof was blown off. The force of the explosion also sent debris flying into the adjacent playground, where students were at the time. 

The roof of the girls' bathroom was completely sheared off, and most of the contents within were found on lawns outside. The lockers in the room were ripped open, wooden fragments scattered over 40 yards away. 

The explosion heavily damaged three bathrooms in total.  As a result of the explosion, one teacher, David Young, and one student, Valerie Lake, were killed. 

More than sixty other people were injured, including thirty-eight students. Many of the injuries were caused by flying glass and debris. 

The town of Cokeville was forever changed after this devastating event. The community came together to support those affected by the explosion and wanted to know about the penny young Cokeville where is she now.

A Day of Miracles

In 1986, a one-room schoolhouse was rocked by an explosion. The cause of the blast may never be known, but from that moment on, the events of May 16 became a day of miracles for each person who survived it. 

Cokeville Elementary School was built at the corner of Eleventh Street and Fifth Avenue in the small town of Cokeville, Wyoming. It consisted of a single room with two classrooms and a small office. 

The school served students in kindergarten through eighth grade and had 68 students and six staff members on its rolls.

On May 16, 1986, the school was rocked by an explosion that blew out all the windows in the structure and collapsed the roof, burying cars in the parking lot under a pile of rubble. 

It appeared as though much of the building had been destroyed, and there were fears that some people might have died. Yet despite appearances, no one was killed, and only two minor injuries occurred: a teacher who hurt her ankle running out and a student who broke his arm. 

David Young, the school's principal and one of the few people in the building at the time of the explosion, credits the Lord for protecting everyone that day. "It was a day of miracles," he says. "We all could have died, but we didn't because God intervened."

While it is unknown what caused the explosion, one theory is that a gas leak may have been to blame. Whatever the cause, it was nothing short of a miracle that everyone survived. 

The students and staff credit divine intervention for their safety and consider May 16 a day of miracles. In the years since the explosion, Cokeville Elementary School has been rebuilt and continues to serve the students of Cokeville. But for those who were there on that fateful day, May 16 will always be a day of miracles. 

The 1986 Cokeville Elementary School Explosion is a day that will be remembered forever in the small town of Cokeville, Wyoming. 

On May 16, an explosion rocked the school, collapsing the roof and destroying much of the building. Despite appearances, no one was killed, but two minor injuries occurred: a teacher who hurt her ankle running out and a student who broke his arm. 

This is not known what caused the explosion, but it will always be remembered as an act of divine intervention that saved everyone on that day.

david young cokeville daughter


Anatomy of the Bomb

The bomb was made with a small two-wheeled supermarket trolley with two baskets on top of each other. A gallon dairy product jug of gasoline was connected to a blasting cap and placed on top of the basket as a center. 

Two tuna fish cans loaded with aluminum powder and flour were found below the jug inside the bottom basket. Each can have its blasting cap. Chain linkage, gunpowder, as well as boxes of ammunition were found in both baskets. 

They were used as shrapnel. To activate the mechanism, two metal connections inside the clothespin's jaws had to be disconnected by a wooden piece, making an incomplete circuit. 

The 9-volt lantern battery was used to power the circuit. Afterward, the wooden segment was removed, and the metal connectors made the bomb go off. A string was used to bind the wooden piece to Doris' wrist.

The jug of gasoline seemed to have a small hole on the bottom. This made it possible for gasoline to seep into the cans of tuna fish, making the aluminum-flour mixture together into a paste that could not be aerosolized. 

Teachers opened the classroom windows to escape the stench of the seeping gasoline, unwittingly providing vents for the impending explosion. 

Two of the bomb's three blasting caps failed to ignite, and the cables to each tuna can were apparently cut. The blasting cap inside the gasoline jug worked as it should, setting off the explosion. It isn't clear why the wires were cut.

What Happened to Princess Young Cokeville?

princess young cokeville

To carry out David's dark plan, called "the Biggie," David, Doris, and Princess Young went to school on May 16. In this plan, David would be held hostage for $2 million each, and a bomb attached to him would go off. 

Then, he would take all the kids and money to a new world where he would be God. When Princess arrived at the school, she rebelled, raced to pick up two more hostages being kept in a vehicle, and carried them to the sheriff's office to notify authorities about her father's plot. 

There was also an "assembly," but Doris and David took the kids and teachers hostage in a small room. Everyone sat in the cramped room, surrounded by guns, while teachers attempted to maintain order throughout the event. 

The bomb was moved from David's body to his wife's, which allowed him to leave the room to use the lavatory. While he was away, Doris accidentally set off the bomb, setting her body on fire and killing many children. 

David returned and shot his wife as the others fled. As the teacher was fleeing through the window, David also shot him in the back. In the bathroom, David killed himself. 

The most interesting part of this story? At least 76 people were hurt in the blast. Only David and Doris died.

Role of Penny Young Cokeville

Gerald Deppe, as well as Doyle Mendenhall, two of Mr. Young's longstanding business partners, had originally been included in the "The Biggie" get-rich-quick scam. 

The two men eventually decided not to take part in the event. In a vehicle outside the school, both men were cuffed. 

Penny, David young Cokeville daughter, born of his first marriage, entered the primary school with David as well as Doris Young but refused to take part in the plan instead of reporting the incident to the town hall.

Bringing Miracles in Front of People

People in the small Wyoming town of Cokeville are not forgetting what happened 15 years ago today. On May 16, 1986, one hundred and sixty children and adults were taken hostage for 6 hours by an armed couple that had recently escaped from jail. 

The hostages were herded into a small elementary school grade building. After several failed attempts at negotiating with the couple, the explosives they had strapped to their bodies detonated, blasting through the building. Miraculously, only one person died in the explosion, and four were injured.

The townspeople of Cokeville have spent the last 15 years rebuilding their community and honoring those affected by the tragedy. 

Each year on May 16, a candlelight vigil is held, remembering those that perished, and each year more people are brought into the fold of knowing about miracles. "It's amazing to me how many people have had personal miracles in their lives but never told anyone. It sounds like a cliché, but people do find coins in the laundry and other small items they've lost just when they're about to give up hope." 

There is also a spiritual aspect to the miracles for those who believe. "It's as if we all died that day with those who were killed or injured, and we were given a second chance. We all learned something from that day, and we're still learning," said Broadbent. This year on May 16, the town of Cokeville will come together to remember those lost and share their stories of miracles. There is a renewed sense of community in Cokeville, and it is stronger than ever. The townspeople are proud of their small-town values and the strength that they have shown over the years. They are a community that believes in miracles.

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