Colorado

Feb 16, 2014 10:42 PM by Tony Spehar

Two killed in Lake County avalanche, danger high statewide

The bodies of two skiers buried in an avalanche in Lake County on Saturday evening were found on Sunday, prompting officials to warn of high avalanche danger across Colorado.

The avalanche happened early Saturday evening, seven skiers were caught in the slide near the town of Twin Lakes.

"At this point we have found two bodies and have identified that they are fatalities," explained Betty Benson, a spokesperson for the Lake County Office of Emergency Management. "It's very sad, I'm sure the people of Twin Lakes are very sad."

Two other skiers were badly injured, they suffered a broken leg, broken ankle and a collapsed lung.

"The ones that were injured did not come down quickly," Benson described. "They were very slow, in essence crawling down."

The three other skiers in the party tried to mark where they thought the two victims were buried before descending in the dark.

"They did tell us that they felt they had identified where the people were and that they had put ski poles across those spots," Benson said.

Five of the skiers lived nearby in Twin Lakes, but the two people killed were from out of state.

"My heart's just heavy," said Twin Lakes resident Mary Paine. "The loss of life is never easy, it's hard when it's people who are close to you and the community here will really rally behind the families."

Authorities said it's vital for anyone heading to the back country to check avalanche conditions beforehand no matter how experienced they are. According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center most of Colorado's mountain areas are at a high level of avalanche danger including areas between Colorado Springs and Canon City.

 

More information about avalanche conditions can be found at http://avalanche.state.co.us/

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