An 18-year-old died after being caught and buried in an avalanche in Farmington Canyon on Saturday afternoon.

The male was with his father riding snowmobiles in the Farmington Lakes area when the avalanche was unintentionally triggered, according to sheriff’s officials and the Utah Avalanche Center.

His father called 911, sheriff’s officials said. Statement from his father can be found HERE.

The Davis County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team found him buried in at least six feet of snow with an avalanche transceiver and probe and with his airbag deployed.

Because there is “no transition from the steep slope above to the flat area of the lake,” snow and debris piled up “very deeply,” according to the avalanche center’s website.

The area where the avalanche was triggered is accessible only by snowmobile this time of year, Sgt. Nathan Dabb with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office told 2News. Rescuers were flown up to the spot where the young man was buried.

“We were really lucky that AirMed was just a few minutes away. They were able to shuttle our search and rescue guys up there within minutes,” Dabb said.

It took approximately 30 minutes to locate the buried victim, sheriff’s officials stated in a tweet. The young man was pulled from the snow and found not to be breathing.

He was airlifted to the University of Utah Hospital for treatment, but did not survive his injuries.

The identity of the victim still had not been released at the time this report was published.

“We are incredibly grateful to every person and agency who assisted with the rescue and lifesaving efforts,” the sheriff’s office stated.

The Utah Avalanche Center warned on Friday that backcountry conditions were expected to be dangerous on Saturday and Sunday.

“Avalanches on some slopes could be triggered from a distance, from an adjacent slope, or even from below,” the center stated in a press release.

An 18-year-old snowmobiler was rescued from an avalanche in Farmington Canyon on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, but did not survive his injuries.


Some tips were offered for those heading into the backcountry during times of increased avalanche danger:

– Check the Utah Avalanche Center’s online forecast

– Evaluate snow and terrain carefully, and use caution when picking a route

– Make sure your party all carry avalanche rescue gear, that it’s operational, and that everyone knows how to use it

– Cross steep slopes one person at a time

At least 13 avalanches occurred in Utah since Friday, according to the center’s website. The deepest recorded was six feet. Of the 13, four are believed to have been triggered by humans.