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National Briefing / Wyoming

Avalanche kills 3 snowmobilers

March 01, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A mile-long avalanche near the Wyoming-Idaho state line swept three snowmobilers to their deaths, authorities said.

Lincoln County officials said the three victims were among four snowmobilers caught by the snow slide Friday near Alpine Mountain in the Snake River Range.

Sgt. Shane Tindall said the fourth person walked out and used his cellphone to call for help.

The survivor told authorities that the snowmobilers had dropped off a ridge line and into a draw when they saw the snow slab breaking away. The slide was about 100 yards wide.

"They tried to outrun it, and they didn't make it," Tindall said.

The bodies of Robert Clark, 48; Scott Smith, 45; and Bob Tiechert, 55, were recovered about 2 1/2 hours after the slide and were buried under about 3 feet of snow.

At least nine snowmobilers and one skier have been killed in avalanches in Wyoming, Montana and Utah this winter.

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