February 26, 2018 / 11:39 AM / 2 years ago

Avalanche kills Washington state hiker, injures five

(Reuters) - A 32-year-old man was killed and five other people were injured Sunday after being buried in an avalanche in western Washington state, local authorities said.

Joseph Simenstad of Issaquah, Wa., was hiking and sledding with his wife and four friends Sunday afternoon in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, about 82 miles east of Seattle, when a snow slope above them broke free, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release on its Facebook page.

Simenstad and his wife and another friend were fully buried in the snow and two other men were partially buried, authorities said. Rescuers were able to dig them out and revive one unconscious man, but Simenstad died of his injuries, authorities said. The others in his party, including Simenstad’s wife received only minor injuries.

Undersheriff Clay Myers said in the release that the area where the hikers were struck was considered “extremely hazardous” and he cautioned people to check the county’s avalanche center before venturing out in the park.

Reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Peter Graff

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