A Washington State Patrol trooper was killed Monday by an avalanche while snowmobiling, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday. Steve Houle, 51, was a 28-year veteran of the patrol, and out riding with another man when he became stuck in the avalanche. “Steve was a great person and an excellent employee, loved and respected by us all. We hold his memory and his family close to our hearts in this painfully sad time,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement. According to CNN, Houle’s death was the 15th U.S. avalanche-related death over the past week, the most ever recorded in a single week.
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