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Snowmobiler buried, killed in Long Valley avalanche identified

By Faith Heaton Jolley | Posted - Mar 2nd, 2013 @ 4:11pm


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FERRON, Emery County — A man buried in an avalanche while snowmobiling on Friday has been located and identified.

Sevier County Police received a call at 5:20 p.m. on Friday about a trapped snowmobiler in Long Valley. Search and Rescue units responded from four different counties to help locate the victim.

James Paul Childs was snowmobiling with members of his family Friday afternoon when he told the group that he wanted to climb a hill, according to Sevier County Sheriff Nathan Curtis. After a few minutes, the group realized they could no longer hear or see Childs and they discovered an avalanche had been triggered. They began looking for him immediately.

When the group couldn't locate Childs, his father rode his snowmobile to Mayfield to receive cellphone service and he called the Sevier County Police.

Crews accessed the scene by snowmobile and snowcat. Search and rescue units searched the area with probes for five hours until Childs' body and snowmobile were found at 9:03 p.m.

James Paul Childs

Childs was transported to the Gunnison Valley Hospital on an AirMed helicopter.

According to the family, Childs was an avid snowmobiler and was an experienced rider.

The avalanche, which occurred about 4 p.m., was estimated to be 150 yards wide by 100 yards long, and the victim was located in an area with snow 10 feet deep.

The Utah Medical Examiners Office will investigate the cause of death. Authorities said he was wearing a helmet and did not appear to have any obvious trauma sustained in the avalanche. However, he was not equipped with an avalanche beacon, Curtis said.

Childs' leaves behind a wife and also four children under the age of nine. The family have set up an *account for any willing to donate to help the family. The account is at Zions Bank under the name of James Paul Childs.

Contributing: Jasen Lee

*ksl.com http://KSL.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does ksl.com http://KSL.com assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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