Tag Archive: colorado avalanche

A mistrial in the Colorado Avalanche case against two snowboarders has been declared.

The two snowboarders are facing charges in Summit County for an avalanche they triggered last spring. Evan Hannibal, 26, and Tyler DeWitt, 38, appeared in Summit County District Court Thursday for what was supposed to be day one of their trial, but only half of those summoned for jury duty appeared.

Now they will have to wait until June for their day in court. The judge had to declare mistrial in the colorado avalanche case.

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Avalanche investigators from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) must testify in the trial of Evan Hannibal and Tyler DeWitt according to Judge Casias. He dismissed a motion from the Attorney General’s Office to void subpoenas to keep them off the witness stand.

On March 25 DeWitt and Hannibal were snowboarding above the Loop Road at the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels. They triggered an avalanche. Nobody was injured but it covered more than 400 feet of the roadway up to 20 feet deep and damaged a remote avalanche-control installation.

The District Attorney charged both snowboarders with misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.

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Avalanche

Avalanche testimony by Colorado Avalanche Information Center boss Ethan Green in a criminal case could hinder the function of the agency, according to the state Attorney General.

Evan Hannibal provided his helmet video of the avalanche he triggered above Interstate 70 last March. The avalanche buried a service road and destroyed an avalanche mitigation installation protecting I-70. He thought the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) would use his submission to help educate others.

But Summit County prosecutors used the video for a criminal case. They seek restitution for the damaged avalanche mitigation device.

Now Attorney General Weiser has stepped in, asking Judge Casias to reject having state employees testify. He cites several reasons, such as their busy winter work schedules.

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Maurice Kervin has spent 65 days snowboarding so far this season. Friday is a day he won't forget. On that day the snowboarder was caught in an avalanche.

Kervin had recently completed a Level 1 safety course through the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). Despite that, he did not avoid the recognized risk.

"I remember telling my buddy 'I don’t know man. I’m kind of nervous about this run, and if it goes it’s probably going to go big,'" said Kervin.

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A final report on a fatal skier triggered avalanche that killed two Durango backcountry skiers last weekend says it appears the skiers likely triggered the slide while climbing up an avalanche path.

The skier triggered avalanche occurred on a steep slope above tree line. “They went on a day that wasn’t a good day to be there,” the official report said. Other skiers in the area that day were interviewed. They mostly stayed in lower angle areas and in the trees. They noted the dangerous conditions on the higher, steeper and open slopes.

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Several natural and human-triggered avalanches have been reported across Colorado this week, including one near Vail Pass on Thursday.

The Vail Pass avalanche broke at the ground. Although it was relatively small it could have injured someone if they had been caught in it. The avalanche was triggered by skiers.

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