Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2004-03-07
Submitted By: NWAC
Place: Jeru Peak, about 20 miles north of Sandpoint
State: ID
Country: USA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: Snowmobiler caught buried and killed

Another snowmobiler fatality--this time in northern Idaho about 20 miles north of Sandpoint...

Date: March 6, 2004

Location: near Jeru Peak, about 20 miles north of Sandpoint, ID

Caught and completely buried: 1 (under 5 feet of snow)

Activity: Snowmobiler (presumably highmarking)

Found by beacon after ~15 minutes

Washington man killed in Idaho avalanche

10:39 AM PST on Sunday, March 7, 2004

Associated Press

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - An avalanche near Pack River Park killed a Washington state man who was snowmobiling on the west side of Jeru Peak on Saturday.

A witness called emergency personnel at 12:40 p.m. Saturday afternoon, telling a Boundary County Sheriff's dispatcher that CPR was in progress on the man.

A medical helicopter was called in, but the victim had died, said Lee Taylor, a Forest Service enforcement officer.

The victim's name was not immediately released.

The man and another rider were snowmobiling on a 50-degree slope near overhanging snow and ice, and triggered the avalanche when turning downhill.

The falling snow hit the victim, sending him about 500 feet downhill, burying him and the snowmobile under 5 feet of snow.

The victim was carrying a beacon, but it took rescuers about 15 minutes to free him, Taylor said.

During that time, a second avalanche buried three nearby snowmobilers. All three were rescued, and no injuries were reported.

The two snowmobilers should not have been riding where they were because of unstable snow conditions, Taylor said.

Forest Service personnel, members of Boundary Search and Dive Rescue and Big Sky Ambulance from Sandpit were called to the scene.

A medical team treated bystanders for shock.

Jeru Peak is 20 miles northwest of Sandpoint, just over the Boundary County line.

Take it easy there--