A veteran Washington State Trooper was killed in an avalanche yesterday while snowmobiling in Kittitas County, WA.
The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office and Kittitas County Search and Rescue crews responded to a report of a person killed in an avalanche in the French Cabin Creek area north of Cle Elum. Kittcom received a report around 12:40 pm of two men overtaken in an avalanche near Knox Creek Trailhead. One of the subjects was able to dig himself out and made his way back to the French Cabin Creek snopark to call for help.
“On behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to Trooper Houle’s family, friends, and the Washington State Patrol. This is a tragic accident and will be felt hard in our close-knit law enforcement community.”
– Sheriff Clay Myers
Search and Rescue personnel located the missing subject, identified as 51-year-old Steve Houle, of Cle Elum, around 7:00 pm. Houle was a 28-year veteran trooper with Washington State Patrol.
- Related: With 15 Avalanche Fatalities, the Last 7-Days Have Been the Deadliest in the US for More Than a Century
The last week has been the deadliest avalanche week in the US for over a century. Fifteen people were killed in avalanches in the last 7-days.
There have been 22 avalanche fatalities in the US so far this winter, and three in Canada. In winter 19/20 there were 23 in the US all season.