Man killed in avalanche in northern Garfield County

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. – A man was killed in an avalanche in northern Garfield County Tuesday afternoon south of Sheriff’s Reservoir.

Rio Blanco County dispatchers were first notified of the avalanche just after noon Tuesday, the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office said.

Routt County search and rescue teams and air medical teams were deployed, and Garfield County was notified when teams discovered the avalanche had actually happened in that county.

Search and rescue crews found a man dead and nearby found another person, who the sheriff’s office says was uninjured.

The sheriff’s office says Classic Air Medical helped the rescue teams off the mountain just after 5:30 p.m. and that the man’s body would be recovered Wednesday morning.

Steamboat Today reports the victim was from Routt County, but did not name him. He was riding a dirt bike converted for snow with Sean Searle, a Franktown man, when the avalanche happened.

The paper reports that Searle had dug his friend out and performed CPR, but his friend succumbed to his injuries.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says this is the ninth avalanche death in the U.S. so far this season, but the first in Colorado.

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