A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps

Father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

A West Kootenay man has died after being caught in an avalanche while snowmobiling near Mount Payne west of Kaslo.

Kaslo RCMP said in a statement they responded to spot tracker alert on March 4 at 3:20 p.m. Kaslo Search and Rescue found a group of snowmobilers who said they had been sledding when the man was caught in and buried in an avalanche.

Police said the group dug the man from the snow but he was pronounced dead at the scene. RCMP say an investigation by the BC Coroners Service is ongoing.

RCMP did not identify the victim but Crescent Valley Fire Department paid tribute to Joe Leblanc on Facebook. A GoFundMe campaign has also started for Leblanc’s family, which includes three children, and has already raised over $24,000.

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