A pediatric dentist whose wife, daughter and sister-in-law were killed when a bluff collapsed on them last year joined a local congressman on Friday to announce plans on how federal funding will be used to prevent another tragedy like his family’s from happening again.
Dr. Pat Davis returned to site where the tragedy happened to join Congressman Mike Levin (D-49) and other local leaders to share how $400,000 will be used to help stabilize bluffs in Encinitas and Solana Beach. It was only his second time back at Grandview Beach since the August 2019 collapse claimed the life of his family members.
“I would feel terrible if this same thing happened to another family and I didn’t do anything about it or the state or the city didn’t do anything about it because I think it’s going to happen," Davis told NBC 7 before the announcement. "Nothing tells me that it’s not going to happen again."
Davis was with his family when the collapse happened.
“Why I wasn’t killed is beyond me. I was right next to my wife," he told NBC 7. "We were sitting a foot apart and the bluff collapsed in such a way that it took out the three chairs next to me. Not mine."
During Friday’s press conference, it was announced the $400,000 funds would be used to study and plan on how to make beaches safer. Davis believes more signs warning about the threat of collapses and more retaining walls are necessary to improve safety.
Since the incident, Levin and Davis have lobbied to accelerate the already-approved Solana Beach-Encinitas Coastline Shore Project. The project aims to put at least $30 million of mostly federal funds into sand replenishment.
“One of the stages of healing is to find a purpose in your life and if that purpose can come from the tragedy you’ve been through, that is supposed to be even better,” Davis said. “I do not want to see what happened to my family ever happen again.”