According to reports from local authorities, first responders were able to save a lone skier who had been dragged away and partially buried by an avalanche in Utah on Wednesday (December 15).
The Utah Avalanche Center confirmed in an original accident report that another person was the one who initially heard the skier screaming and then followed the sound up the bottom of Neff’s Canyon in Salt Lake City. The skier was involved in an accident.
According to the report, the second person who found the skier found him “buried chest-deep in rubble” and suffering from severe injuries. The skier had been stranded there for “about 45 minutes when he was discovered,” and the report stated that he had been there for the entirety of that time.
According to the Utah Avalanche Center, the second person to arrive at the scene called 911 and immediately began attempting to free the skier from the debris after making the call. This was done before the first responders from Salt Lake County Search and Rescue, Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, and the Utah Department of Public Safety arrived at the scene.
After “helicopter and on-foot attempts,” the injured skier was successfully transported back down the mountain by the first responders.
In addition to being transported on a snowmobile to the trailhead of Neff’s Canyon, the injured skier was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
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The Utah Avalanche Center wrote in a tweet that was shared on Wednesday night that the injured skier from Neff’s Canyon had been evacuated to the trailhead and was on their way to the hospital thanks to the collaboration of search and rescue crews. “Thanks to the collaboration of search and rescue crews,” the tweet read.
The search and rescue operations took place several days after a second skier’s body was discovered at the Solitude Mountain Resort in Salt Lake City, Utah, just one day after the skier had been reported missing.
The skier, whose name is Devon O’Connell and who hails from Cottonwood Heights, Utah, initially ascended the mountain on Monday with a friend in order to go skiing (December 14).
It was alleged that the friend had parted ways with O’Connell at approximately 10:30 in the morning, prior to O’Connell getting back on a ski lift for another run at approximately noon.
The body of O’Connell was discovered by search and rescue teams early on Tuesday (December 13), and the police have confirmed this finding.