California skier dies of injuries suffered in avalanche

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2012 2:58 PM
California skier dies of injuries suffered in avalanche

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 29-year-old Northern California man who was caught in an avalanche while skiing near Lake Tahoe has died of his injuries, authorities said on Friday.

Benjamin Brackett of Olympic Valley, California, was pronounced dead at Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee on Thursday evening, Nevada County Sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Nelson said.

Brackett was rushed to the hospital after suffering serious injuries in an avalanche that struck as he was skiing with two other people near California's Alpine Meadows Resort, west of Lake Tahoe.

An autopsy would be conducted to determine the cause of death, said Sergeant Paul Schmidt, spokesman for the Nevada County Sheriff. Brackett's two companions were not injured in the incident, Schmidt said.

The death came less than two weeks after four people were killed in two separate avalanches near ski resorts in Washington state. Eight others initially said to be missing in the worst of those incidents were later found alive.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Alex Dobuzinskis)