Crews Recover Body Of Man Caught In Avalanche
CIRCLEVILLE, Utah – Search and rescue crews on Friday recovered the body of a man who got caught in an avalanche in Piute County.
The victim was identified as 41-year-old Brad Stapley of St. George.
Officials said Stapley was riding snowmobiles with two other people in the area of Circleville Mountain when the avalanche hit Thursday. Two of the riders were caught, one of whom was able to dig himself out of the snow, according to Sgt. Glen Woolsey with the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office.
Stapley was missing until Friday morning when crews found his body.
Authorities responded after one of the snowmobilers called the sheriff’s office at approximately 5:09 p.m. The avalanche was reportedly triggered accidentally by the snowmobiles.
“More than likely it was triggered by the machines as they came out of the trees onto the bowl. It triggered at the top, and they tried to outrun it to the east, and were caught,” said Commander Craig Wright with Beaver County Search and Rescue.
Crews from Beaver, Piute and Sevier Counties searched Thursday night and Friday morning.
“We have had a lot of heavy snowfall in recent days and the terrain even getting into this location is very remote for our crews at this time,” said Commander Wright.
Sgt. Woolsey said one of the men was injured but is expected to recover.
Chopper 5 flew to the scene of the avalanche Friday morning and captured video of the aftermath. A snowmobile could seen buried beneath the snow on the mountainside.
The identities of the other two people were not yet released.
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