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Snowmobiler dead in central Utah avalanche

Published March 1, 2013 10:37 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A snowmobiler was killed after being caught in a central Utah avalanche Friday.

James Childs, who is thought to be about 32, was killed after being buried in a slide that was 150 yards wide, 100 yards long and at least 10 feet deep, the Sanpete County Sheriff's Office said in a tweet late Friday.

Childs was in an area of the Manti-LaSal National Forest about 10 miles southwest of the town of Ferron, Sanpete County Sheriff's Office dispatchers said. The area is just inside Sevier County near its border with Emery County, Sanpete dispatchers said.

The avalanche occurred about 4 p.m. Search and rescue teams from Sanpete and Sevier counties responded and a medical helicopter was also involved in the rescue effort. Search teams first found Childs' snowmobile and then his body. A doctor on the search and rescue team pronounced Childs dead at the scene, the sheriff's office said in a tweet. It was Utah's third avalanche death of the year.

It's not clear whether the Childs was alone.

A preliminary report on the avalanche posted on the Utah Avalanche Center website said the accident occurred in the 12 Mile Canyon area near the southern end of a well-known recreation area called the Manti Skyline. The report states the snowmobiler was caught, carried and fully buried in the avalanche.

Avalanche center forecasters plan to visit the area on Saturday to provide a more detailed report, the post states.

Jennifer Dobner