Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2003-03-31
Submitted By: WWAN
Place: Scallop Mountain, near Takla Landing
State: BC
Country: CANADA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 2 snowmobilers caught, 1 buried and killed


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Mom killed in avalanche leaves two small children

Stuart Hunter

The Province

Thursday, April 03, 2003

A young mother with two

children under two is B.C.'s

26th avalanche victim of the


Leslie Ann Miller of Prince

George was snowmobiling

with her husband on Scallop

Mountain on Monday when

the couple crested a ridge and

vanished from the sight of 11

others in their party.

"A husband and wife were on

the snow machines together

and they got up on the ridge

and it collapsed and they went over a cliff and they fell approximately 300

feet down a rock face before they landed on the slope," Takla Landing

RCMP Cpl. Steve Pebernat said yesterday. "When they landed on the slope,

they created an avalanche."

Miller's 33-year-old husband survived the fall and was buried up to his

shoulders in the slide. He dug himself out but couldn't find his wife.

The other sledders -- all from Takla Landing -- used a satellite phone to call a

nearby logging camp, which sent a helicopter with a first-aid worker but

darkness halted the search.

The body of Miller, 27, whose children are aged two months and 18 months,

was found by searchers from the nearby communities of Fort St. James,

Smithers and Prince George on Tuesday afternoon about 30 metres from

where her machine came to rest. An autopsy was performed yesterday.

Pebernat said the couple were not wearing avalanche transceivers, which

slowed the recovery of Miller's body buried in 50 centimetres of

"concrete-like" snow.

The accident occurred in the remote Driftwood Mountain range, about 300

kilometres north of Fort St. James. The mountain's gradual south slope is

popular with sledders but its north side is a sheer drop.

Miller's husband, who suffered lower body injuries, works as a logger in the

Takla Landing area during the harvesting season. The couple also have a

home in Prince George.

The Canadian Avalanche Association is calling for more funding so areas

like Takla Landing, currently not covered under weekly bulletins, are


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