First Avalanche Fatality in USA Occurred in Wyoming Yesterday

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Stock photo of avalanche.
Credit: CAIC

A 31-year-old snowmobiler, Dustin LaPant of Rock Springs WY, was killed in an avalanche in the Horse Creek drainage of the Wyoming Range (south of Jackson Hole) in Wyoming yesterday, Saturday.

“This is the first avalanche fatality anywhere in the U.S. this winter.” – Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center Director Bob Comey, Saturday

Dustin was reportedly with one other snowmobiler at the time of the accident who called 911.

“Sublette County officials say the man who called 911 said the victim had been buried for more than an hour because conditions were preventing others from reaching him.” – AP, today

Some details are still unknown at this point.

“The exact location, elevation and aspect is not yet available.” – Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center, Saturday

Map showing the location of avalanche fatality.

Bridger-Teton avalanche experts plan to investigate the avalanche today, Sunday.

The USA averages 27 avalanche fatalities per year.

Snowmobiliers and Backcountry Tourers die in US avalanches more than any other activity participants.

Colorado (275), Alaska (150), Washington (119), and Utah (116) have seen the most avalanche fatalities in the USA since records began in 1951.

January, February, and March are the historically most deadly avalanche months in the USA.

Avalanche deaths in the USA since 1951. image: CAIC

Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center Report:

Date/Time: 12/22/2018

Path: Horse Creek Drainage Zone: 309
Elevation: 9153′
Starting zone slope angle: 31-35
Type: Soft Slab
Relative Size: 1 Destructive Size: 1.0 Depth: 22
Trigger: Snowmobile (AM)
Lat: 42.925758 Lng: -110.583191

Observer Notes:  An avalanche fatality occurred this morning in the Horse Creek drainage of the Wyoming Range. One snowmobiler was caught and did not survive. Information is preliminary and limited. The location depicted is in the approximate area. The exact location, elevation and aspect is not yet available. Avalanche specialists from the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center plan to visit the site of this incident on Sunday.

States with the most avalanche fatalities since 1951. image: CAIC
Activities with the most avalanche fatalities since 1951. image: CAIC
Months with the most avalanche fatalities since 1951. image: CAIC

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