Fatal avalanche

A Teton County Search and Rescue team member snapped a picture of the fatal avalanche near Togwotee Pass from the search and rescue helicopter.

The man who died after being buried in an avalanche Sunday near Togwotee Pass was Taylor Bruggeman, of Iowa.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said Bruggeman suffocated after being buried by snow. The death was accidental, Blue said.

Bruggeman and two friends were snowmobiling near Mt. Leidy on Sunday when a 2-foot-deep avalanche came down on top of the 24-year-old on a northwest-facing slope.

The three had one beacon and one shovel among them, according to police reports.

Part of Bruggeman’s snow machine was visible in the debris, but he wasn’t, reports stated.

One man started to dig for Bruggeman around 4 p.m. while the other rode a half-hour toward Togwotee Mountain Lodge to call for help.

Teton County Search and Rescue responded to the scene and located Bruggeman’s body around 6 p.m. after probing for about five minutes.

Bruggeman’s body was then transported to the Black Rock Ranger Station.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066, courts@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGcourts.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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(1) comment

Noah Osnos

Please, please, please do not go into avalanche territory without proper training and equipment! If SAR found the body in so little time, if the 2 survivors had been properly trained and kitted, there might not have been another needless death.

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