Wed, May 18, 2005
Recovery Of Bodies Hampered By Weather
Ouray County, CO, Sheriff Dominic "Junior" Mattivi, fighting the
possibility of an avalanche, planned to send a helicopter to a
crash site 12,000 feet above sea level on the slopes of Whitehouse
Mountain in hopes of recovering the bodies of four people lost when
their Cessna 210 went down Friday.
The crew of the sheriff's office helicopter faces a dangerous
task -- recover the bodies, but avoid the possibility of being
caught in an avalanche as warming weather threatens the snow pack.
Already, officials said the crash site had slid some 300 feet down
“We’re going to make every effort to get them out.
I’m going to leave it up to the pilot,” Mattivi told
the Grand Junction Sentinel. “They might land or send a man
down on a winch to retrieve bodies. There’s still 10 feet of
snow up there, and it’s not safe. I’m not going to put
anybody at risk.”
The 210 apparently impacted the mountainside at high speed.
“The crash was not survivable,” First Lieutenant Mark
Young (USAF, Civil Air Patrol) told the Sentinel. “They came
down fast, like a missile.”
Sheriff Mattivi said the helicopter-borne recovery crew would
either attempt a landing at the crash site or might wench down a
team member to secure the bodies and then winch them back up to the
helo. He described the task as "extremely dangerous."
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