30-Year-Old Man Killed By Roof Avalanche Near Brighton Resort, UT

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Roof avalanches can be deadly, as seen with the fatality on Monday night near in Brighton, UT. | Photo: KUTV

Avalanches don’t just happen in the backcountry. 

On Monday night, 30-year-old Ryan Peterson had gone up to a cabin his family partly owns near Brighton Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon when the snow situated on the structure’s roof slid and fell on top of him. He was buried with no one around to help him, according to Utah’s KUTV news station.

Peterson was killed by the roof avalanche. Following the incident, Brighton Mayor Dan Knopp spoke with KUTV and warned about the danger associated with snow falling off roofs, especially this time of year when spring temperatures are warming the snowpack.

“There’s 15 feet of snow on some of these roofs,” Knopp said.

Nearly all of Brighton’s structures and the buildings in Utah’s Cottonwood canyons are buried in multiple feet of snow after a record-breaking winter. As spring ushers in warm temperatures and strong sunshine, the snow on these roofs will warm and more roof avalanches are expected. Residents need to take notice and learn from this heart-breaking instance in order to avoid more injuries and death as the seasons change.

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