LOCAL NEWS

Authorities Identify Man Killed In Summit County Backcountry Avalanche

Dec 15, 2019, 2:34 PM | Updated: Dec 16, 2019, 2:31 pm

PARK CITY, Utah – A 45-year-old man has died after being fully buried in a backcountry avalanche, according to officials with the Utah Avalanche Center.

Authorities identified him as Matt Tauszik, of Salt Lake City.

Lt. Andrew Wright with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said they received a 911 call at 10:58 a.m. of a snowboarder buried in an avalanche in the backcountry of Dutch Draw near the Park City Mountain Resort on Sunday.

UAC officials said Tauszik left Canyons Village via the backcountry exit gate at the top of the 9990 lift on Sunday.

“We actually had a witness who witnessed the slide. We don’t know the time frame – she estimates it was between 10 and 11 a.m this morning,” Wright said.

It was unclear if the witness was the same person who called 911.

Wright said other snowboarders in the area came upon Tauszik’s snowboard in the debris field of the avalanche.

“[They] immediately went over and realized it was attached to a person,” he said. “They began digging, from what I understand they dug about three feet below the surface and were able to get this male individual out.”

While traveling in the Conehead area of Dutch Draw, officials said Tauszik triggered and was caught, carried and buried in the avalanche.

“We confirmed that there was a set of tracks in and no tracks out,” Wright said.

Rescuers think Tauszik was buried between 30 and 45 minutes. CPR efforts were carried out by the snowboarders and responding rescue teams for nearly two hours but were unsuccessful.

Tauszik was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to Wright.

“The avalanche itself from what we are hearing is about 180 feet wide and it dropped about 600 feet vertically. It’s a pretty large avalanche, of course with all the snow we have received up in the high elevations, avalanche danger is high,” Wright said

Avalanche danger was rated as considerable Sunday for terrain above 8,000 feet and high on Friday and Saturday.

A weekend storm dropped 18 inches of new snow in the area, and UAC officials said professionals working at ski areas along the ridgeline had triggered numerous old and new snow avalanches in similar terrain.

UAC forecaster Drew Hadesty said this was the first avalanche death in Utah this season.

Officials wanted to remind the public to use the proper equipment and be extra vigilant when venturing into the backcountry for skiing or snowboarding.

UAC and Park City and Canyons resort avalanche officials will investigate the scene on Monday.

Tauszik is survived by his wife Michelle Schmitt and their son.

Schmitt is the Director of Digital Communications for Rep. Ben McAdams, who released the following statement Monday:

“Our hearts are broken today, as we mourn with my Director of Digital Communications Michelle Schmitt and her son for the loss of their husband and father – Matt Tauszik, who was killed in this weekend’s avalanche. Their family loved being outdoors together, particularly on the ski mountain. Michelle has worked for me in both the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office and now here in my Congressional office and is well known for her professional and talented work with local news media and digital communications. We grieve Matt’s loss with her and will provide as much support as possible during this sad time.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

$400 million set aside for tax cut...
Brooke Williams

Gov. Cox signs student voucher bill, trans medical bill

Gov. Cox signed two bills Saturday morning and released statements regarding each.
12 hours ago
$400 million set aside for tax cut...
Madison Swenson

Brett Garner elected to fill vacant seat in Utah House of Representatives

Brett Garner has been elected to fill Sen. Karen Kwan's former seat in the Utah House of Representatives.
1 day ago
...
Mike Anderson

Bear Lake Monster Winterfest seeks to draw winter tourists

The community around Bear Lake is pushing to get more people out there during these winter months. As a part of that, the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is underway.
1 day ago
...
Ayanna Likens

Tips to set realistic mental health goals

If you are planning on setting a goal to prioritize your mental health this year, Dr. Kristin Francis at Huntsman Mental Health Institute recommends starting with small goals.
1 day ago
...
Shara Park

All students contacted following shooting incident in Taylorsville High parking lot

Police said they have identified and made contact with the six teens involved in a shooting that took place in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School Thursday.
1 day ago
Officers respond to Taylorsville High School on Jan. 26, 2023, after shots were fired in the parkin...
Erin Cox

Utah lawmakers pushing for greater school safety measures

Utah lawmakers are pushing for change in order to protect our students in schools.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Authorities Identify Man Killed In Summit County Backcountry Avalanche