Libby Man Saw Avalanche Bury Friends - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Libby Man Saw Avalanche Bury Friends

Posted: Updated:
TROY -

Friends and family are still dealing with the loss of a Libby man buried and killed by an avalanche Saturday, less than twenty miles southwest of Troy.

Bryan Harlow, 49, suffocated under several feet of snow.

Nathan Schwegel, 33, made that 911 call a little past 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. He and his friend 27-year-old Jessie Mugford were able to get out of the way of the snow slide, but Bryan Harlow and Todd Byington were not so lucky.

"Honestly we're concerned about getting ourselves out of the way, and then also concerned about the guys that we knew that couldn't get out of the way," said Mugford.

Schwegel told dispatch that they heard Byington yelling and found him with only his face sticking out of the snow. They dug him up and used his beacon to find Harlow, but after digging past four to six feet of snow to get to Harlow, they saw that he wasn't breathing. CPR didn't work.

Kalispell's ALERT helicopter got there first, but couldn't find a place to land. Two Bear Air's Air-One helicopter got there next and managed to vertically lift Harlow out of the slide. The other three rode their snowmobiles out with no serious injuries.

"The avalanche wasn't snowmobile triggered or human created, none of our machines were even running at the point in time," said Mugford.

In an initial report, the Flathead Avalanche Center is calling this "remotely snowmobile triggered." That means a weak layer beneath them could have failed without anyone realizing it, then travel through the snow pack up to the a steeper part of the ridge, thus causing the snow to slide.

Mugford says he and his friends had snowmobiled here before, about a month ago, and knew the risks. He blames all the new snow that had just fallen for the tragedy. According to Mugford, both sides of the mountain slid and was more than a quarter of a mile wide. Mostly, he says, this is just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Unfortunately, this time it didn't work out," said Mugford.

"They were taking precautions," said Roby Bowe, the Lincoln County Sheriff, "They knew the avalanche danger was high."

Experts could not do an on-site investigation because of the high avalanche risk. Based off of the aerial view from the Air-One helicopter, the Flathead Avalanche Center says this snow slide was big enough that it could have destroyed a car.

The most recent advisory from the Flathead Avalanche Center puts the avalanche risk at considerable.

They will have an updated reported Wednesday, which you can find here.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Ex-governor's trial may hinge on cryptic email

    Ex-governor's trial may hinge on cryptic email

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 2:44 AM EDT2014-09-03 06:44:42 GMT
    Former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland is scheduled to return to federal court almost a decade after pleading guilty to political corruption.
    Former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland is scheduled to return to federal court almost a decade after pleading guilty to political corruption.
  • Openings to resume in Detroit bankruptcy trial

    Openings to resume in Detroit bankruptcy trial

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 2:11 AM EDT2014-09-03 06:11:54 GMT
    An attorney for Detroit is set to resume his opening statement at the city's historic bankruptcy trial, after saying on the first day that Detroit needs the restructuring to survive.
    An attorney for Detroit is set to resume his opening statement at the city's historic bankruptcy trial, after saying on the first day that Detroit needs the restructuring to survive.
  • Detroit-area man faces prison for death on porch

    Detroit-area man faces prison for death on porch

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 1:53 AM EDT2014-09-03 05:53:08 GMT
    A suburban Detroit man who shot an unarmed woman on his porch could come face-to-face with her parents as he receives his sentence for second-degree murder.
    A suburban Detroit man who shot an unarmed woman on his porch could come face-to-face with her parents as he receives his sentence for second-degree murder.
  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Big Sky County District Employee Arrested and Detained

    Big Sky County District Employee Arrested and Detained

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:15:37 GMT
    Cyle Kokot, an employee of the Big Sky School District, has been arrested and detained. The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office arrested Kokot for two counts of "sexual intercourse without consent.
    Cyle Kokot, an employee of the Big Sky School District, has been arrested and detained. The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office arrested Kokot for two counts of "sexual intercourse without consent.
  • Photos from Fatal Missoula Shooting Scene

    Photos from Fatal Missoula Shooting Scene

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:11 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:11:07 GMT
    One man is dead after a shooting outside of a Missoula Strip club.
    One man is dead after a shooting outside of a Missoula Strip club.
  • PHOTOS: Hobo Spider season has arrived

    PHOTOS: Hobo Spider season has arrived

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:37:17 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Mid August is about the time that we start to see spiders come into our homes, particularly the hobo spider. August and September is mating season for the hobo and that means you may be seeing more funnel-like webs in and around your home. Males are on a mission to find a female which is why they are a lot more active at this time.
    KHQ.COM - Mid August is about the time that we start to see spiders come into our homes, particularly the hobo spider. August and September is mating season for the hobo and that means you may be seeing more funnel-like webs in and around your home. Males are on a mission to find a female which is why they are a lot more active at this time.
  • Cobell Settlement Checks Could Be Mailed By Fall 2014

    Cobell Settlement Checks Could Be Mailed By Fall 2014

    Friday, August 15 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-08-16 01:03:47 GMT
    The people in charge of doling out money in the Cobell settlement want to put checks in the mail by this fall.
    The people in charge of doling out money in the Cobell settlement want to put checks in the mail by this fall.
  • Sentinel High School Principal And Assistant Principal Suspended

    Sentinel High School Principal And Assistant Principal Suspended

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:35 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:35:48 GMT
    Missoula County Public Schools suspended two of Sentinel High School's top administrators for "board policy violation."
    Missoula County Public Schools suspended two of Sentinel High School's top administrators for "board policy violation."
  • Chanin Starbuck Murder Case To Be On 'Dateline' Nationwide Friday Night

    Chanin Starbuck Murder Case To Be On 'Dateline' Nationwide Friday Night

    Thursday, July 11 2013 9:23 PM EDT2013-07-12 01:23:04 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. – It's a classic show millions of Americans have watched for years and this week "Dateline" heads to the Inland Northwest showcasing a tragic murder that left a mother dead and a father behind bars.
    SPOKANE, Wash. – It's a classic show millions of Americans have watched for years and this week "Dateline" heads to the Inland Northwest showcasing a tragic murder that left a mother dead and a father behind bars. A little more than a month ago a jury convicted Clay Starbuck for the murder of his ex-wife Chanin Starbuck.
  • Search to Resume on Tuesday for Swimmer Missing on Ennis Lake

    Search to Resume on Tuesday for Swimmer Missing on Ennis Lake

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:56:06 GMT
    The search for a missing swimmer on Ennis Lake has ended for the night on Monday and will resume again Tuesday morning.
    The search for a missing swimmer on Ennis Lake has ended for the night on Monday and will resume again Tuesday morning.
  • EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mother remembers Gracie Snider

    EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mother remembers Gracie Snider

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-09-02 19:00:41 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Two little girls, best buddies, spent the day playing soccer at a central Washington tournament in May. Gracie Snider and Ayla James were riding back from the game, laughing and talking like friends do.But just a few miles east of Ritzville on i-90 on May 3rd, the vehicle the girls were in hit a semi truck. Gracie didn't make it and Ayla was seriously hurt.
    KHQ.COM - Two little girls, best buddies, spent the day playing soccer at a central Washington tournament in May. Gracie Snider and Ayla James were riding back from the game, laughing and talking like friends do.But just a few miles east of Ritzville on i-90 on May 3rd, the vehicle the girls were in hit a semi truck. Gracie didn't make it and Ayla was seriously hurt.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.