Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2009-03-01
Submitted By: WWAN
Place: Duck Lake area north of Brundage Mountain Ski Area
State: ID
Country: USA
Summary: 1 snowmobiler caught, carried, and seriously injured

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Lewiston snowmobiler critically injured in avalanche near Brundage Mountain

By: Idaho Statesman

Date: March 2, 2009

A Lewiston man was critically injured in an avalanche Sunday while snowmobiling near Brundage Mountain, the Valley County Sheriff's Office said.

An air ambulance took Matthew Potratz, 27, to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise where he remains in critical condition on Monday.

Around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Potratz was high-marking on a side hill when he triggered the avalanche, the Sheriff's Office said.

The avalanche broke loose approximately 200 yards up the hill according to a witness.

Potratz and his snowmobile were carried down the hill and into a tree well where he was buried under the snow.

Friends who saw the incident immediately dug him out and called the Valley County 9-1-1 center.

Potratz appeared to have head and internal injuries and possibly a broken leg.

Due to the weather and Potratz's condition, it took rescuers approximately 3.5 hours to get him to an area where the air ambulance could pick him up.

The investigation into the cause and nature of the accident is ongoing.