Avalanche Nearly Carries Couple in Car Over Steep Embankment on the Kootenay Pass, BC

AvyBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche
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Kootenay Pass avalanche on Sunday afternoon. To the left of the photo are tracks from the Zanussi’s truck. Credit: Brian Zanussi

A Rossland couple were caught in an avalanche on the Kootenay Pass, BC Sunday afternoon, all within a half hour of the highway being re-opened reported Trail Times.

Brian Zanussi, his wife, and the family dog were on their way back from Kimberley when they were stuck in a huge back up of traffic on the Creston-side while the ministry carried out avalanche control. Shortly after 3:30 p.m. the highway opened up and away they went in the couple’s Dodge pick up.

It wasn’t long after cresting the top of the pass and heading down toward Salmo that things took a scary turn. Brian recalls seeing bits of snow starting to tumble down the hill, and his wife giving a warning cry.

avalanche, kootenay pass
Credit: Brian Zanussi

Before he knew it, the rear of the vehicle driving ahead was impacted by a rush of snow and propelled forward. Brian recalls the snow carrying his truck dangerously close to the steep embankment on the left-hand side.

“The snow was fast, you couldn’t outrun it,” he said. “But it was calm, like a river of snow.”

Other than being shaken up, thankfully no one was hurt.

The vehicles involved were damaged, and Brian says his truck is in the shop for a wheel re-alignment (snow from the avalanche had packed tightly into the wheel wells).

Because the ministry had just finished avalanche control, a crew was not far down the hill from where the incident occurred. The highway was again closed so workers could clear the avalanche which Brian estimates was about six feet high and 30-or-so-feet wide.



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