avalanche

A rescuer at the site of an avalanche where two snowshoers and their dog were killed on Jan. 8, 2022. 

Two people and their dog were killed Saturday after an avalanche hit the Hoosier Pass area in central Colorado, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The victims were snowshoeing near North Star Mountain at around noon when the avalanche buried them, officials said. They were found dead on Sunday afternoon after friends and family members reported them overdue from their outing that morning.

The Summit County Coroner's Office on Monday identified the victims as 25-year-old Hannah Nash and 35-year-old Drake Oversen of Colorado Springs. Their causes of death were blunt force trauma and asphyxiation, according to the coroner’s office.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family and everyone affected by this tragic accident,” the information center said in a statement.

Rescuers found the victims’ car at the parking area at the top of Hoosier Pass. Using two avalanche dog teams and a helicopter crew, rescuers later discovered snowshoe tracks near a recent avalanche on a flank of North Star Mountain, the information center said.

At around 2 p.m., an avalanche rescue dog found the snowshoers and their dog buried by avalanche debris.

The avalanche was just under a mile north of Hoosier Pass at an altitude of 11,700 feet. It was estimated to be 400 feet wide and 250 feet in length. Staff from the information center visited the avalanche site Monday and were expected to release a full report of the incident later this week.

This is Colorado’s second fatal avalanche this season after an avalanche near Cameron Pass killed a backcountry skier on Dec. 24.

Officials from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Summit County Rescue Group and Flight for Life conducted the search for the victims.

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