Fairbanks man killed in Cantwell avalanche

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man has become the state's fourth avalanche fatality so far this winter.

Dwayne Dufford, 30, was snowmachining with friends southwest of Cantwell when he was buried by a slide Monday afternoon, Alaska State Troopers said.

One of the other snowmachiners alerted troopers. Dufford was carrying an avalanche beacon and was located just 18 minutes after the slide, but he had already succumbed to his injuries.

No one else was injured.

Troopers are continuing their investigation.

Dufford's death was the fourth avalanche death so far this season and the second in as many days. On Sunday, Russel Foster, 35, of Anchorage died in an avalanche while snowmachining near Hope.

Doug Fesler, an avalanche expert with the Alaska Mountain Safety Center, says avalanche danger remains high. Fesler says there are multiple weak layers of snow buried under recent snow accumulations, creating an unstable snow slab on many slopes.

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