Snowmobiler Dies in Avalanche on Sierra Madre Mountain in Carbon County
On March 12, two snowmobilers from Rapid City South Dakota, Rory Simonson and Jon P. LaFramboise were trapped by an avalanche while snowmobiling on the Sierra Madre mountains in Carbon County.
At 1:02 p.m., the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Simonson that he and LaFramboise were caught in an avalanche and that he had performed CPR on LaFramboise, but couldn’t find a pulse and that he wasn’t breathing.
According to a press release by the Sheriff's Office, Deputy Patrick Patterson responded and activated Saratoga, Ryan Park, and Encampment search and rescue units with four members of search and rescue on snowmobiles and two members and Patterson on a snowcat.
Due to the location that was given, the search team was unable to reach Simonson and LaFramboise.
Patterson requested a helicopter to fly over the area to get a better idea of where the avalanche was and how they could reach Simonson and LaFramboise.
The helicopter left Rawlins at approximately 4:30 p.m. and arrived at the scene at around 5:00 p.m.
The flight crew found the missing party and their grid location, with the aircrew locating two snowmobile riders and guiding them to the scene.
The team of search and rescue were able to locate the avalanche and missing party at 5:30 p.m.
Due to the weather and nightfall, the decision was made to bring Simonson, who the Sheriff's Office called the survivor, out and they would go back the following day to retrieve LaFramboise.
All search teams began departing the area around 5:45 p.m., with a plan to meet at 8:00 a.m. the following morning to begin the recovery of LaFramboise and his equipment.
On March 13, at 08:00 a.m., 13 members of search and rescue met and departed the area to conduct the recovery, arriving at the avalanche site at approximately 9:38 a.m.
Due to the reporting party not having anyone available, the snow machine and personal equipment were also recovered by search and rescue and taken out.
According to the release, the remains were turned over to the coroner and the snowmobile and equipment were given back to a friend of LaFramboise.
Sheriff Archie Roybal said that Simonson is back in South Dakota and is feeling fine,
Roybal said they don't know when the avalanche started or how long the two had been trapped before a call was made.