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Authorities identify snowboarder who died in Summit County avalanche

By Graham Dudley, KSL.com | Updated - Dec. 16, 2019 at 2:35 p.m. | Posted - Dec. 15, 2019 at 12:35 p.m.


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PARK CITY — A 45-year-old Salt Lake City man died Sunday when he was buried in an avalanche that he likely triggered in the backcountry near Canyons Village resort, the Utah Avalanche Center announced Sunday.

He was identified Monday as Matt Tauszik, of Salt Lake City.

Tauszik left Canyons Village via a backcountry exit gate. "Part of the way down the slope, he triggered and was caught, carried and killed in an avalanche," the center said.

"The rider probably triggered it," said avalanche forecaster Greg Gagne. "That they were the ones that stressed the snowpack that caused the avalanche."

Summit County Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright said the snowboarder was buried for "an unknown amount of time." It is believed that he could've been under the snow for up to 45 minutes.

Witnesses were able to dig Tauszik out from under about 3 feet of snow, and "lifesaving efforts" were made, Wright said.

Forecasters from the Utah Avalanche Center planned to go to the scene of the slide Monday for further investigation.

Tauszik was the husband of a staffer who works in U.S. Rep. Ben McAdams' office, according to a Monday statement from the congressman's office. He was married to Michelle Schmitt, McAdams' director of digital communications.

"We grieve Matt’s loss with her and will provide as much support as possible during this sad time," McAdams said in the statement.

Contributing: Garna Mejia, KSL TV

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Graham Dudley

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