California Man Confirmed Dead in Bali Blast

Published October 15, 2002

| Associated Press

A California man on a surfing trip to celebrate his 41st birthday was among the more than 180 people killed in a bomb blast in Indonesia, a family friend said Monday night. A former All-America football player at the University of Nebraska remained unaccounted for.

At least 180 people were killed, hundreds more injured and dozens unaccounted-for in the blasts on Saturday at a nightclub district in Bali packed with foreign tourists. The attack was thought to be the work of terrorists.

Steven Brooks Webster, of Huntington Beach, Calif., was confirmed dead by morgue authorities in Indonesia, his friend Trent Walker said from Newport Beach, Calif.

The former football player, Jake Young, 34, was in Bali to play a final tournament with his rugby team from Hong Kong, said his father, Jacob Young. He was then planning to join his wife, Laura, and their 2-year-old son in the Kansas City area, he said. The young attorney had been working in Hong Kong for a London-based law firm.

Speaking by telephone from his home in Midland, Texas, Jacob Young said Monday that he had received an e-mail from his son's rugby club in Hong Kong, saying people were still looking but ``they have found nothing.''

``We're clinging to a thin ray of hope that he's going to be found alive,'' he had said earlier.

The State Department said Monday that four Americans were injured and at least two were killed. One of those, Deborah Snodgrass, had moved to Bali one year ago to teach English, KPNX-TV reported. Her parents, Chris and Susan Snodgrass of Phoenix, confirmed their daughter's death Monday and asked that the family's privacy be respected.

Young was an Associated Press All-American center for Nebraska in 1988 and 1989.

``He was a really nice, unassuming guy who worked hard. Smart kid,'' said former Nebraska quarterback Steve Taylor, a teammate of Young for three seasons.

Steven Cabler, one of Webster's friends who survived the blast, was treated for third-degree burns. He arrived home in California on Monday night and spoke briefly with reporters about the bombing before hearing that his friend had died.

``It was hell on Earth,'' said Cabler, seated in a wheelchair with both of his hands heavily bandaged. ``All I saw was people burning, little girls with their hair on fire trying to put it out.''

Webster, the father of a 5-year-old son and teenage stepdaughter, was an avid golfer and sailor who enjoyed deep-sea fishing. He and his two friends had been planning the Bali vacation for years.

``He was one of the best, just a genuine, loving, caring, respectful person,'' Walker said. ``He loved life, and lived life to its fullest.''

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