Avalanches Kill at Least Six

Fatalities in three Western states

Avalanches recently killed six across the Western United States.     Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A recent string of avalanches across the Western United States has killed at least six people, with two fatalities per state in Oregon, Utah, and Colorado.

The Oregonian reports that an avalanche in the south Wallowa Mountains near Cornucopia killed two cross-country skiers around noon Tuesday. The two victims were accompanied by six other skiers, two of whom suffered broken bones; the other four emerged unscathed. The skiers hailed from Seattle and were on a multiday ski tour of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, according to Baker County Sheriff Mitch Southwick.

In Utah, two people died in separate avalanches, USA Today reports. A Saturday avalanche in American Fork Canyon, about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City, killed Brigham Young University student Ashleigh Cox while she was snowshoeing. Although rescuers revived her, Cox was removed from life support the next day. Utah's other fatal avalanche occured in backcountry near Sanpete County's Huntington Reservoir, where a 36-year-old snowmobiler was killed while riding with three companions.

Tragedy also struck in Colorado, where separate avalanches killed two people. According to the Gazette, a 46-year-old skier died Monday when an avalanche swept him away. Searchers found his body on Tuesday. An avalanche also killed a snowmobiler near Kebler Pass, outside Crested Butte, on Monday. Officials think recent snowfalls may have lured adventure seekers into dangerous, unstable situations.

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