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American Falls man killed in avalanche at Pebble Creek

INKOM, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Editor’s Note: The original version of this story said Bregitzer was skiing alone; we have since learned he was with friends and have corrected the article.

An avalanche at Pebble Creek Ski Area killed an American Falls man, Paul "Phil" Bregitzer, 60.

The Bannock County Sheriff's Office reported Bregitzer was skiing with friends on the popular out-of-bounds run, Canal Street, near the north boundary line.

Around 1 p.m., wet snow caused a 300 yard avalanche, six to seven feet deep. Bregitzer was reportedly buried under three feet of snow, without a beacon to help ski patrol find his location.

Reports initially said he'd been skiing alone. But, friend of Bregitzer, Doug Balfour, called to tell us Bregitzer was skiing with friends, who helped dig him out of the snow and performed CPR.

When ski patrol arrived, they performed CPR for 45 minutes until he was transported to the Portneuf Medical Center via ambulance. He was pronounced dead around 4 p.m. His wife has been notified.

Sheriff Lorin Nielsen commended the ski patrol team, saying they did an excellent job, but were unfortunately unable to revive him.

Other avalanches were reported at Pebble Creek today, though none caused injuries.

“I can also say that we have, from the ski patrol, several other dangerous areas that could also slide, and we’re asking anybody who comes up to ski, just stay in bounds and not go outside," Nielsen said.

There were two separate injuries that required ambulance care at Pebble, but nobody else was injured from the avalanche.

Pebble Creek Ski Area remained open Sunday following the incident.

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