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Avalanche traps delivery truck, closes Teton Pass

Teton Pass avalanche driver unharmed

UPDATE 10:00 PM 1/9/2020: Teton Pass has opened to traffic.

Original Story:

WILSON, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) - UPDATE 2:40 p.m. An avalanche trapped a delivery truck and closed Teton Pass Thursday around 12:30 p.m.

Local resident Riley Doyle and his delivery box truck were caught in the slide. Doyle was alone in the truck and was unhurt.

“It was white-out conditions and someone had just passed me, so I assumed the road was somewhat clear ahead.  But then, my truck just started to come to a gradual stop and then wouldn’t move.  I looked out and I was surrounded by snow,” Doyle said. 

Doyle then got out of his truck and walked out of the slide area, where other vehicles had begun to stop and assess the slide. 

The avalanche was 150 feet wide and 2-3 feet deep, Wyoming Department of Transportation spokeswoman Stephanie Harsha said.

More than a foot of snow has fallen over parts of the Teton Range and the National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory for the area.

Officials say the closure will probably last the rest of Thursday and into the night.

WYDOT Maintenance Foreman Bruce Daigle said the closure will remain in place until crews can clear the mountain and perform extensive avalanche mitigation. 

The cause of the avalanche is still under investigation.   

ORIGINAL: The Wyoming Department of Transportation reports Teton Pass has been closed in both directions due to an avalanche.

The closure from WY22 to the Idaho State Line began as of 12:31 p.m. Thursday.

The estimated open time is unknown.

WYDOT said they aren't sure if the cause of the avalanche was natural, but crews are en route to check it out.

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