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2 die in separate Utah avalanches over weekend

February 10, 2014
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two people were killed in separate avalanches in Utah after several feet of fresh snowfall in the state unleashed a series of weekend slides.

The first happened Saturday in American Fork Canyon, about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City. Officials said Brigham Young University student Ashleigh Cox, 21, was snowshoeing when she was caught in an avalanche that swept her 50 feet into a creek.

Witnesses couldn't dig her out and she was stuck under the snow for about 40 minutes, according to Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon. Rescuers were able to revive Cox, who's from Colorado Springs, Colo., but she was taken off life support Sunday afternoon.

The second fatal slide happened about 5 p.m. Sunday roughly 90 miles away in Sanpete County. Clint Conover, 36, was riding with three other experienced snowmobilers when the avalanche happened in the backcountry near Huntington Reservoir, according to Sanpete County sheriff's officials.

The group was prepared with avalanche beacons and dug Conover out from under 6 to 8 feet of snow, but he later died.

Sheriff's officials said Conover, who was from Ferron, is survived by his wife and five children.

The Utah Avalanche Center warned of extreme avalanche danger over the weekend in the mountains of northern and central Utah. Utah mountains had been covered with a weak layer of snow due to the mild winter, but several feet of fresh, heavy snow on top created conditions ripe for avalanches, according to Bruce Tremper, the center's director.

 
 

 

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