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Avalanche kills snowmobiler in Montana

From Gabe LaMonica, CNN
updated 11:25 PM EST, Tue February 21, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Snowmobiler killed, another escapes avalanche east of Kalispell
  • Victim is identified as Charles John Dundon III of Connell, Washington
  • The two were riding in Flathead National Forest

(CNN) -- A northwest Montana avalanche apparently triggered by a snowmobiler left him dead while a companion was able to escape, authorities said Tuesday.

Charles John Dundon III, 33, of Connell, Washington, died in Monday afternoon's incident east of Kalispell, according to the Flathead County Sheriff's Office. His body, buried by the snow, was located by a signal from his transceiver, the office said in a statement.

His unidentified companion, also from Washington state, was able to ride his snowmobile to Hungry Horse, where he called 911, officials said.

The pair were riding in an approved area of Flathead National Forest, according to CNN Kennewick, Washington, affiliate KVEW.

Neighbor Gary Achziger told KVEW that Dunton was a "very good friend."

"Anytime we needed a little help doing something, Chuck was always willing. He was healthy, very robust and strong, so he'd help us move furniture around, haul things in and out," said Achziger.

Family members declined to comment about Dundon, who lived with his father. His snowmobile was still missing late Tuesday.

Read more about this story from CNN affiliate KVEW.

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