3 killed in avalanches in Western states

/ Source: The Associated Press

Avalanches killed two snowmobilers in the U.S. state of Colorado and a skiier in Wyoming.

The Grand County sheriff's office said an avalanche occurred Saturday afternoon as four Colorado residents were snowmobiling near Grand Lake, on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Three of them were caught in the slide but one of them was able to escape.

The two who were buried were declared dead at the scene near Gravel Mountain. They were identified as Brian Kopp, a 38-year-old firefighter from Larkspur, and 19-year-old Mark Goetz of Arvada.

Recent snows and winds have raised the risk of avalanches in parts of Colorado's mountains.

In Jackson, Wyoming, an avalanche on Saturday afternoon killed a skier at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

The avalanche carried 31-year-old David Nodine, of Wilson, Wyoming, about 200 yards (180 meters) downhill and buried him under 8 feet (2.4 meters) of snow.

Resort spokeswoman Anna Olson said ski patrollers found Nodine within 6 minutes by homing in on signals from a transceiver he was wearing. Authorities said Nodine was uncovered within 10 minutes.

Nodine could not be revived and was pronounced dead at a clinic at the resort base.

Nodine was skiing with a companion down an expert trail. His companion also was caught by the avalanche but was not buried or hurt.