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Snowmobiler killed in Farmington Canyon avalanche identified

By Jen Riess, KSL.com | Updated - Jan. 19, 2020 at 5:15 p.m. | Posted - Jan. 18, 2020 at 4:47 p.m.



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FARMINGTON — A snowmobiler died after being caught in an avalanche in Farmington Canyon, officials said Saturday afternoon.

A father and his 18-year-old son were snowmobiling at the top of the canyon when the son got separated and trapped under the snow, according to Davis County Sheriff Sgt. Nathan Dabb.

On Sunday, officials identified the 18-year-old as Chase Adams.

Chase Adams was transported by AirMed to the University of Utah Hospital in critical condition. Davis County Sheriff's officials later confirmed that he had died shortly after.

"Despite incredibly swift rescue and lifesaving efforts, Chase did not survive," said Davis County Sheriff’s Office in a statement released on Sunday.

The father called 911 at 1:30 p.m. and said his son was wearing a blow-up backpack and a beacon.

"When the snow slid, I was shocked, but I had a feeling everything was going to be okay," said Chase's father, Ben Adams, in a statement. "I prayed, I called his mom, I called 911, and she called 911."

Authorities first suspected the backpack didn't deploy, but the Utah Avalanche Center later said it had been punctured during the digging to recover the man.

Within an hour of that call, AirMed transported search and rescue teams to the canyon, where "a couple dozen" bystanders saw the avalanche beacon and began digging Chase Adams out, according to Dabb.

After 20 minutes of digging, the 18-year-old was found unconscious and not breathing, Dabb said.

"They were in a very remote location and at this time of year it's only accessible by snowmobile, maybe by foot," said Dabb. "We were really lucky that AirMed was just a few minutes away."

Dabb said that with Friday morning's storm, the avalanche danger in that area was "quite significant."

"The avalanche debris piled up very deeply on upper Farmington Lake because there is no transition from the steep slope above to the flat area of the lake," The Utah Avalanche Center said.

Contributing: Graham Dudley, KSL.com

Jen Riess

KSL Weather Forecast