Tags: avalanche | explosive | kills | tahoe | ski patrolman

Avalanche Explosive Charge Kills Tahoe Ski Patrolman

Image: Avalanche Explosive Charge Kills Tahoe Ski Patrolman

In preparation of Independence Day skiing, a snow cat grooms one of the slopes at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort near Tahoe City, Calif., Thursday, June 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017 01:44 PM

An avalanche explosive charge killed a Tahoe ski patrolman at a Lake Tahoe ski resort on Tuesday.

Joe Zuiches, 42, was working with an avalanche-control team at the resort Tuesday morning when a set of explosives that were being used to trigger an avalanche detonated, ultimately killing him, according to The Associated Press.

The California man was working with a crew to reduce the threat of a natural avalanche before the ski resort was scheduled to open to the public later that morning.

According to authorities, the device responsible is “a hand charge containing ammonium nitrate,” the Reading Eagle noted.

The Squaw Valley ski area was reportedly under close watch the past couple of weeks in anticipation of an avalanche. However, the Sierra Avalanche Center said there was a “moderate” risk to the area, the AP noted.

While an official cause of death has not been released yet, the resort issued a statement on Tuesday, saying “the cause is believed to be the detonation of an explosive charge,” the AP noted.

“The team at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is deeply saddened by this tragic event, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected,” the resort said.

Zuiches was a resident of Olympic Valley and had been a member of the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol since 2012, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Andy Wirth, the chief executive and president of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, said Zuiches was “one of the best of the best” as a patrolman.

Zuiches leaves behind a wife and infant son.

The family has created the Joe Zuriches Memorial Fund through Go Fund Me to raise money for the funeral.

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An avalanche explosive charge killed a Tahoe ski patrolman at a Lake Tahoe ski resort on Tuesday.
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Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017 01:44 PM
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