Man killed, boy injured in avalanche

Man killed, boy injured in avalanche

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Sam Penrod reporting An avalanche struck a popular Utah ski resort Sunday, leaving one skier dead and a boy seriously injured. It is still not clear if the man and the boy, who survived, were skiing out of bounds or if they even triggered the slide.

The ski patrol and the Summit County search and rescue were called out around 11:20 Sunday morning to the 99-90 lift area of the Canyons. The avalanche hit near the Red Pines chute run and claimed the life of one skier.

Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said, "What we know at this point is that we have one confirmed fatality, a male between the age of 25 and 30 years old.

The news was better for a boy, reportedly 12 years old, who was pulled alive from the slide. "We have a second victim that was caught in the avalanche, but rescued, an adolescent male that has been transported to a Salt Lake area hospital," Edmunds said.

The ski resort defended questions about whether this area should have been open to skiers Sunday.

Mike Goar, with the Canyons Ski Resort, said, "I think it's safe to say any work, involving avalanche control in this type of steep terrain, that conditions can change sometimes by the minute, and we felt good about it. Again, the fact it was open for skiing yesterday, the stability of that general area, and it was OK to be opened."

When the investigation into the avalanche is over, it may answer the question if these skiers were in or out of bounds of the resort and if this tragedy could have been prevented.

The victim's have not been identified yet, and authorities won't say if they are locals or visiting from out of state.

Just last week, Jason Coles of Park City was killed while skiing in the Canyons resort, when he went off an unmarked embankment and hit a tree.

Sunday's avalanche serves as a warning to skiers. It's always important to be prepared when you hit the ski slopes, especially if you plan on venturing into the back country.

First of all, plan ahead; make sure to call the avalanche advisory line or visit their website. Always carry proper avalanche gear, including beacons, shovels and probes. And, if possible, you should carry plenty of food, water and clothing to last the night.

If you are concerned about someone who is overdue from skiing the Canyons, you can call 1-800-828-8477.

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