Washington State Trooper Killed In Avalanche While Snowmobiling

(Photo by JOHANN GRODER/EXPA/AFP via Getty Images)

Adam Barnes General Assignment Reporter
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A Washington state trooper was killed in an avalanche Monday, days after the U.S. marked its deadliest week for avalanches.

Search and rescue teams found 51-year-old Steve Houle, a 28-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol (WSP), after responding to reports of “two subjects overcome by an avalanche,” the Kittitas County Sheriff’s office said in a press release. (RELATED: Avalanche Kills Skier In New Hampshire, Officials Say)


“On behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to Trooper Houle’s family, friends and the Washington State Patrol,” Sheriff Clay Meyers said in the press release.

At least 15 people have been killed in avalanches in February, according to CNN.

Washington State Patrol chief John Batiste said in a press conference Monday night that Houle was “one of those stabilizing troopers that everyone know,” CNN reported.

“He was great at what he did not just as a trooper but an expert at commercial vehicle enforcement,” Batiste said “He’s someone you could always depend on.”

Washington State Patrol said in a Facebook statement Monday night that its thoughts and prayers are with “his family, friends and coworkers as they process the loss of a father, husband and friend.”

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