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Snowboarder killed in backcountry avalanche

3:25 PM, Mar 11, 2010   |    comments
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The Summit County Sheriff's Office says three men were snowboarding in the backcountry area off US Highway 6 on the south side when the avalanche happened just before 3 p.m.

A 20-year-old Daniel Michelotti from Spring Grove, Ill. was buried in the snow. He worked for Breckenridge and had been living in Colorado since November.

According to deputies, the two other snowboarders were behind and above Michelotti when the snow slide happened.

The men say it took about 20 to 25 minutes to get a cell phone signal and get to Michelotti.

The Summit County Rescue Group says Michelotti was carried an estimated 1,000 feet by the avalanche and his body was almost completely buried when the others reached him.

The Rescue Group says the snowboarders were not carrying avalanche probes, beacons or shovels.

About 37 rescuers responded to the avalanche and set up a rope system to recover the body and bring him up to Highway 6.

The sheriff's office says the incident is still under investigation.

The coroner ruled Michelotti's death and accident and says he suffocated.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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