Snowmobiler killed in Grand County avalanche was Colorado businessman

A man killed in a Grand County avalanche was a successful real estate investor who took to the High Country on Sunday, Feb. 14, to snowmobile with his son.

Michael “Tony” Westall, 58, of Parker, died when he was caught in an avalanche west of Rollins Pass. Westall met one of his three sons Sunday morning in Empire to hook up for a day of snowmobiling.

Grand County Sheriff’s Office officials said first responders found the snowmobile had been carried onto a frozen lake and later located the rider in the snow. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Grand County Coroner’s Office is investigating his cause and manner of death.

Westall is survived by his wife, Jamey; three sons, Reed, Ryan and Tyler; and a daughter, MacKenzie.

Another man was killed Sunday in an avalanche near Loveland Ski Area in Clear Creek County. The men are the ninth and 10th people to be killed by avalanches in Colorado this winter, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The average number of people killed in Colorado avalanches each season is six.

The snowpack is exceptionally weak this season with the avalanche danger as bad as it has been since 2012, according to Avalanche Information Center Executive Director Ethan Greene.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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