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Avalanche kills 1 near Snowbasin

Avalanche kills 1 near Snowbasin

Posted - Jan. 24, 2010 at 7:59 p.m.



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WEBER COUNTY -- An avalanche killed one person near Snowbasin ski resort Sunday. The Weber County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as 42-year-old Todd Bell of South Weber.

Capt. Clint Anderson with the sheriff's office said Bell had been skiing with a friend around 1 p.m. The friend decided to go down a run in No Name Canyon and thought Bell would follow. Instead, Bell went down Hell's Canyon.

Several snowboarders were behind Bell and saw the avalanche happen. When they got to the bottom of the avalanche run, they noticed a hand and a coat sleeve sticking out of the snow. They pulled Bell out, began CPR and called 911 around 1:20. Bell was unconscious and not breathing.

When rescue crews arrived, they took over resuscitation efforts. They worked on Bell for more than an hour but were unsuccessful.

Deputies said Bell was found close to the surface of the snow, so an autopsy will be performed to see if he died from trauma caused by debris.

At the same time, five snowboarders were going down nearby Cold Water Canyon and triggered several small avalanches. When they realized they wouldn't be able to get out of the canyon, they called for help.

None of the snowboarders suffered any injuries.

The Utah Avalanche Center on Sunday said that heavy snowfall and high winds are making for dangerous avalanche conditions in mountain backcountry areas throughout the state. The center urged people to stay out of those areas.

"It's never been more dangerous in the area," Anderson said.

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