A seasoned skier who was caught in an avalanche drew her last breathes in her boyfriend’s arms after the barrage of snow swept her into a tree.
Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Benson was backcountry skiing with her boyfriend, Jason Ray, near Clause Peak in Wyoming last weekend when the slide drew her into the tree, causing fatal head and body trauma.
Ms Benson’s death was not the only ski-related fatality – nearly 60 miles away, veteran skier and Grand Teton National Park employee Nick Gillespie died when he was caught in an avalanche at the park. Their deaths were the first people to die in slides this winter.
On Sunday afternoon, Ms Benson was skiing with her boyfriend, and two other friends, including a physician. The group was skiing in the backcountry, where the powder is often fresher, but there is a significant risk of avalanches.
According to the Sublette County Sheriff’s Department, the 28-year-old athlete was caught in a small slide west of Bondurant. Trapped in the snows, she hit a tree.
Mr Ray, who works as a seasonal administrator for the Sublette County Search & Rescue team, rushed down to her aide.
The physician was quick on the scene as well and administered CPR to Ms Benson, but realized the young woman had died in her boyfriend’s arms.
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