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Skier, 2 snowmobilers killed in avalanches

2012-01-03 14:05

Helena - Authorities in Montana say two snowmobilers and a skier have died in three separate avalanches.

The Livingston Enterprise reported that 44-year-old David Lee Gaillard was skiing with his wife on Saturday afternoon southeast of Cooke City when an avalanche occurred.

Park County Coroner Al Jenkins said Gaillard's wife couldn't find her husband and emergency responders recovered the body.

About two hours earlier, another avalanche occurred north of Cooke City. County officials said the avalanche buried 46-year-old Jody Ray Verhasselt for 12 minutes before two snowmobiling companions pulled him out.

Another man died on Sunday when his snowmobile triggered an avalanche east of Red Lion. The name of the 20-year-old Butte man wasn't immediately released.

Granite County Sheriff Stephen Immenschuh tells the Montana Standard that unstable snow in the mountains has created dangerous conditions.