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News

1 Dead, 1 Reported Missing 3 Dead After Avalanches Near Wrightwood*

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*UPDATE: Saturday, 2:45 p.m.*
3 people are now confirmed dead in the aftermath of Friday's avalanches -- LAT.

*UPDATE: Friday, 8:50 p.m.*
One person was killed and at least one other was missing after avalanches struck near the town of Wrightwood in the San Gabriel Mountains. The victim, 23-year-old Michael McKay, was an employee of the Mountain High Resort ski patrol. Around noon, an avalanche struck as McKay and two friends were skiing in the backcountry of Government Canyon, near the resort.

"Two of the people walked, but the man was still trapped and it took L.A. County search and rescue and ski patrol to find him. It took about an hour and a half to get him out." -- San Bernadino County Fire official, LA Times
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Paramedics administered CPR for about 10 minutes to no avail, according to KCAL9's report from the scene during their 3-o'clock broadcast. McKay was pronounced dead at the hospital at 4:30 p.m.

A second avalanche one-half mile from the first, near Sawmill Canyon, trapped two and possibly three people. Rescue crews were still searching for one missing person. Another man was reportedly extracted from the snow my officials with minor injuries.

Contrary to other news accounts, including the above LA Times' quote from a fire official, KNBC.com reported that the two men who were skiing with McKay had not been located.

Most news outlets reported only one person unaccounted for after the avalanches, however, CBS2 counted two missing in connection with the avalanches. CBS2 also listed "skier Darren Toffey" as "another unaccounted-for individual."

A total of four avalanches were reported Friday in the Mountain High Resort area, according to a spokesman for the resort who spoke to KNBC. The spokesman estimated that about 4 feet of snow had fallen in the recent storms.

Video of KCAL's 3 p.m. report after the jump.