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Date: 2006-03-19
Submitted By: NWAC
Place: Tiffany Mountain near Conconully
State: WA
Country: USA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 2 snowmobilers caught, 1 totally buried and killed, 1 partially buried

Avalanche Fatality claims one snowmobiler in Washington

? Date/Time of incident: 3-19-2006, ~2 PM

? Location: Tiffany Mountain near Conconully, Okanogan County, WA

? Activity: Snowmobile

? Incident: 2 caught?1 partly buried, 1 totally buried and killed, found about 30 inches under snow (More specific avalanche, snow pack and/or slope information not yet available)

Preliminary accident information

Teen snowmobiler dies in Okanogan avalanche

03:40 PM PST on Monday, March 20, 2006 Staff

OKANOGAN Co., Wash. - A 17-year-old snowmobiler died Sunday in an avalanche near Tiffany Mountain, Conconully in Okanogan County.

According to authorities, Tyler Thompson of Omak was riding with several other snowmobilers, including his father, in the Browns Meadow area when one of the snowmobilers rode up the side of the bowl, triggering an avalanche. Tyler and his father were caught in the snow slide.

Members of the group quickly found his father but were unable to locate Thompson.

Search parties, along with a search dog were called to the area. After four hours, the dog led searchers to an area and they eventually located the teenager buried in the snow. It appeared he was carried down the hill and slammed into a tree.

Thompson's father was injured in the incident and was airlifted to an ambulance which then transported him to Mid-Valley Hospital. Tyler's body was taken to a funeral home in Twisp.

The Thompson family is well known in the county.

From The Chronicle, Inc., Omak, WA 98841 All contents copyright ? 2006Posted: Monday, March 20, 2006 - 9:10 a.m. PST Omak teen-ager dies in avalanche near Conconully

An Omak High School honor student and athlete died March 19 in an avalanche while snowmobiling near Tiffany Mountain northwest of Conconully. Tyler A. Thompson, 17, Omak, died in the avalanche. His father, Frank Thompson, was injured, according to Okanogan County sheriff Frank Rogers. The accident was reported around 2 p.m. Deputies, snowmobilers, and Okanogan County Search and Rescue personnel responded to Brown's Meadow near Tiffany Mountain. Search teams responded from the Conconully and Methow sides of the mountain. Vicki Buzzard of Aero Methow and her search dog were airlifted into the area by helicopter to begin the search, Rogers said. Thompson's body was located about four hours after the search began. Rogers said it appears that Thompson was riding in the Brown's Meadow area with several other snowmobilers, including his father. One of the snowmobilers rode up the side of the bowl, which caused the snow to break loose. Thompson and his father were riding below and both were caught up in the avalanche. Other members of the party were able to get Thompson's father out and then they began to search for Thompson. They were joined by deputies and the other searchers. The dog alerted on a specific area and searchers concentrated their efforts on it and located Thompson's body. "It appears that Thompson was carried down the hill where he struck a tree and was buried in approximately 30 inches of snow," said Rogers. Frank Thompson was airlifted from the scene to an ambulance, which transported him to Mid-Valley Hospital. Thompson's body was taken to Precht's Methow Valley Chapel, Twisp. "This is hard on a community," said Rogers. "The Thompsons are well known in the county. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them." Omak principal John Belcher said Tyler A. Thompson was "an outstanding student" who played baseball and football. He also was involved in FCCLA and the Gear Up mentoring program for middle school students. Belcher said about 60-100 people gathered Sunday evening at the high school and the school will be open all night tonight, March 20. Extra counselors are on hand at school today to help students and teachers cope with the loss, he said. A letter to parents will go home with students today, he added.