- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 28, 2003

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Search crews yesterday found the body of one of three snowboarders buried under a huge avalanche, after two days of digging and probing through snow piled up dozens of feet deep in spots.

Mike Hebert, 19, of Orem, was found in four feet of snow in Provo Canyon. He was identified by his driver’s license and cell phone, which were with the body when a searcher probing the snow with a pole found it late yesterday afternoon, Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy said.

Mr. Hebert’s relatives were at the scene and were notified shortly after the discovery.

Hopeful teams worked even after dark last night searching for Adam Merz, 18, and Rod Newberry, 20. Authorities said a storm expected to dump more than a foot of snow would prevent the search from resuming today.

Mr. Hebert, Mr. Merz and Mr. Newberry were snowboarding with two friends when they were swept away by the avalanche. The other two escaped.

They were snowboarding in a remote area where there is no avalanche control, about a mile north of Sundance ski resort and about 25 miles northeast of Provo.

J.D. Settle, 20, dug himself out of the avalanche, was treated for hypothermia, then joined the rescue effort yesterday afternoon.

“I want to go up and help find my friends. That’s all I want to do,” Mr. Settle said before Mr. Hebert’s body was found.


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