Washington State Trooper 15th Person in US to Be Killed by Avalanche in a Week

Trooper Steve Houle
Washington State Patrol

Steve Houle, a Washington State trooper, was trapped by an avalanche as he was riding a snowmobile.

A Washington State trooper was killed by an avalanche as he was riding a snowmobile, officials said Monday. The 28-year veteran Steve Houle was found Monday afternoon by Kittitas County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue crews who responded to the avalanche in the French Cabin Creek area near the Knox Trailhead, according to a press release.

“Steve was a great person and an excellent employee, loved and respected by us all," officials said in a statement. "We hold his memory and his family close to our hearts in this painfully sad time.” 

Houle's riding partner was also caught in the avalanche but survived, KIRO7 reported

Avalanche danger has been considerably high in recent weeks across the western United States, according to authorities. Houle was the 15th person in the country to die in an avalanche in the last week, CBS News.

There have been a total of 22 avalanche deaths since the start of the 2020-2021 season, according to online data.