Daniel Ovenden killed in Sunday avalanche


A Craig resident was killed Sunday afternoon after he was buried by an avalanche.

Daniel Ovenden, 31, was snowmobiling with a group of 10 friends Sunday near Pagoda Peak, approximately 35 miles east of Meeker. Around 1:30 p.m., Ovenden was buried by an avalanche that was 300 feet wide and a half mile long, according to Rio Blanco County Sheriff's office. Another rider, Jason Weber, was only partially buried by the avalanche and was dug out by other snowmobilers.

"The snow conditions were prime for an avalanche," said Rio Blanco Undersheriff Anthony Mazzola. "There were three snowmobiles on the hill two were stuck and (Ovenden) was coming down when the avalanche broke."

The three snowmobiles on the hill were completely buried. The weight of the vehicles, combined with the conditions, were probably the cause of the avalanche, Mazzola said.

Routt County and Rio Blanco County Search and Rescue teams were dispatched at approximately 3 p.m. Ovenden's body was discovered under four feet of snow at 8:25 p.m. Sunday.

Ovenden is survived by his wife, Stacy, and three-year-old daughter, Taylor, and his parents, Denny and Joleen.

Ovenden worked with his father to run The Print Shop on E. Victory Way.

The Colorado Avalanche Center is still posting warnings of avalanche conditions throughout Northwest Colorado, Mazzola said.

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