SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Two snowboarders accused of triggering an avalance last March will go to trial next March. Prosecutors say the slide was above the west portal of the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel.
The backcountry skiers took video of it and gave it to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Now, prosecutors plan to use it against the men.
Evan Hannibal, 26, and Tyler DeWitt, 38, say when they went out on March 25 they never expected such a large avalanche.
Both DeWitt and Hannibal believed the area, because it was above Interstate 70 and had avalanche mitigation technology in place, would be lower risk. They also checked the forecast for the day on the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s website, which showed conditions were moderate (level 2 out of 5).
The men face jail time and $168,000 in restitution. They say they believe the incident warrants discussion but it wasn’t a crime.
The slide covered a road and damaged a cannon used to prevent avalanches.