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Former Winter Park ski patrolman killed in explosion while doing avalanche mitigation in California

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Posted at 11:10 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 01:19:07-05

SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. – A former ski patrolman at Winter Park Resort died while working at a northern California ski resort Tuesday morning.

Joe Zuiches, 42, died in an accident involving an explosive while crews were doing avalanche mitigation before the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort opened Tuesday morning.

The Lake Tahoe area has seen a near-unprecedented amount of snow this month and the area is highly avalanche-prone at this time.

Winter Park posted on its Facebook page that Zuiches had been a member of its ski patrol from 1999-2012 and was “a beloved and cherished member of the community, whose intelligence and enthusiasm for skiing was infectious to all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

Both Winter Park and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows said they were saddened by Zuiches’ passing and extended their condolences to his friend and family.

The California ski resort where he worked said Zuiches is survived by his wife and infant son.

A GoFundMe page for his family has been set up and can be found by clicking here. As of Tuesday night, it had already raised more than $75,000 of the $100,000 goal.

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