Snowmobiler Killed in Rich County Avalanche

Snowmobiler Killed in Rich County Avalanche

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Alex Cabrero ReportingA snowmobiler killed in an avalanche today in Utah's Rich County is the eigth person to die in a slide this year. That's the highest death toll since the state began keeping records.

Today was the perfect day to go skiing or ride snowmobiles, at least that's what a group of friends from Weber County thought. Unfortunately their day of fun turned into a day they wish they could do over or forget.

Snowmobiler Killed in Rich County Avalanche

With fresh snow and a blue sky if you had a snowmobile you probably spent some time outdoors today.

Jerry Regnier, Evanston: “Just enjoying the snow that's fallen over the last week.”

Jerry Regnier and his friends did, but they had no idea the area they were in was also the area where an avalanche killed a snowmobiler just hours before.

Jerry Regnier: “If there was a problem it must have been on the west side; we didn't see much traffic or anything.”

He didn't see anything that Rich County Sheriff Dale Stacey did after getting the call someone was in trouble near Monte Cristo on Whiskey Hill.

Dale Stacey, Rich County Sheriff: ”When we arrived we found out one person had been caught in the avalanche.”

Snowmobiler Killed in Rich County Avalanche

It appears a group of friends were out having fun when a big rumble of snow took all that fun away and buried one of their buddies.

Dale Stacey, Rich County Sheriff: “They saw it happen. I believe he had a beeper on. They immediately dug him out. They figured within seven minutes, they had him out but he did not make it.”

It's the first avalanche death in Rich County this year.

Up big Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake County they've already had deaths from avalanches this season and rescuers were worried they had more when two big slides came down around five o'clock.

Sgt. Todd Griffiths, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Dept.: "We found out after the fact it was triggered by several individuals, but it was also witnessed by an individual that said that he saw all of them ski out of the slide path."

Rescuers spent time searching, but now believe no one was trapped.

Same thing in Woodland Hills in Utah County. Another avalanche late last night came very close to homes, but caused no injuries.

Mike Reid, Woodland Hills Resident: “This is my first time to ever be this close to an avalanche, and to walk up to it, it's an awesome sight to see what nature can do.”

Rich County deputies have not released the name of the man who was killed in the avalanche. We do know he is 27 years old, and is from Farr West in Weber County.

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