A 21-year-old man died after his snowmobile triggered an avalanche on Saturday in Cook City, Montana.
Washington state native Wyatt Coiteux was killed while snowmobiling alongside his teenage brother on Crown Butte, the Daily Mail reported Monday.
“Coiteux had been climbing a slope and triggered the avalanche and was carried 600 vertical feet before being buried beneath five feet of snow,” the outlet said, adding another group of riders arrived moments later and alerted rescue crews.
When his body was found, the group performed CPR and also used an automated external defibrillator in an attempt to save him.
Washington man, 21. killed in Montana avalanche while snowmobiling with his teen brother https://t.co/pJEX2025BO
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) January 3, 2023
“The brothers were riding adjacently according to local officials and Coiteux was wearing an airbag pack at the time of the avalanche,” the Mail report continued, however, “It’s unclear if the airbag did not deploy because of a malfunction or if Coiteux did not pull it.”
The pair also carried shovels and probes but reportedly did not have on avalanche beacons that are used to find people buried beneath the snow.
On what appears to be his Facebook page, Coiteux described himself as a “Motorsports Enthusiast.”
Meanwhile, the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center said Sunday it viewed the avalanche that took the snowmobiler’s life:
It occurred on a southeast facing slope at 9,800 feet elevation. At the crown the avalanche was 1.5-2 feet deep on average, and up to 4 feet at the deepest. It broke 500 feet wide and ran 600 vertical feet. It was a hard slab avalanche that broke on weak, sugary snow, and was large enough to break trees or destroy a car.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim, and those involved with the rescue and recovery,” the post read.
Per the Mail article, the 21-year-old man loved riding snowmobiles and was experienced in that area.
According to Ready.gov, once an avalanche stops moving, the snow becomes solid and a victim trapped underneath is unable to dig themselves out.
“People caught in avalanches can die from suffocation, trauma or hypothermia,” the website read.
In December, emergency crews in Washington rescued a man trapped during an avalanche in the area of Table Rock Mountain after he was knocked off his snow bike and tumbled down the hill, Breitbart News reported.