GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Two backcountry skiers were caught in an avalanche in Garfield County on Tuesday afternoon. One did not survive and the other had to be rescued.

The man who was killed was identified by the Garfield County coroner Wednesday afternoon as Jesse Christensen, 55, of Steamboat Springs.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The snow slide happened near Sheriff’s Reservoir in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area in Garfield County about 40 miles southwest of Steamboat Springs.

It marked Colorado’s first avalanche death of the season.

Steamboat Today shared video of Sean Searle, 42, from Franktown. Searle collapsed to the ground after he was reunited with his wife. Crews had flown him out of the slide area. He later went to the hospital to get checked out.

(credit: Steamboat Today)

(credit: Steamboat Today)

Searle was not seriously hurt.

Avalanche danger remains a threat in much of the high country.

Statement From The Garfield County Coroner’s Office

An autopsy is scheduled for later this week. The manner of death is being investigated as accidental. The cause of death will
not be released until after the autopsy.

Our condolences to the Christensen family and the Steamboat community. Furthermore the coroner’s office is grateful for the
professional alliances and assistance that were provided by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Garfield County Search and
Rescue Inc., Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue, Routt County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue,
and Classic Air Medical.


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