PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- Two skiers killed in a large avalanche in
Colorado came from a small town in south central Wisconsin, relatives
and colleagues said Monday.
Three other skiers were hospitalized following Saturday's avalanche
near Leadville, Colo. Rescue crews found the two skiers' bodies Sunday
afternoon near Independence Pass, about 80 miles southwest of Denver,
the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.
Robert Lentz said his son, Justin Lentz, of Portage, was one of those
killed in the avalanche. The 32-year-old Lentz loved to ski and started
when he was 5 or 6 years old, his father said. Lentz said his son "was a
good kid" who worked as an electrician and was engaged to be married.
Another Portage man, Jarrard Law, 34, was also killed.
Necedah Area School District Superintendent Larry Gierach says Law was an "incredible man."
"Jarrard had great skills with people and was an integral part of our
planning when it came to technology," Gierach said. Many staff members
thought of him as a friend first and as a professional second, the
The school district planned to make grief counselors available to faculty and students.
Saturday's avalanche was the third deadly slide in Colorado in less than a week, authorities said Sunday.
Susan Matthews, a spokeswoman for the Lake County Office of Emergency
Management, said seven skiers on Star Mountain near Leadville triggered
the latest slide at about 5 p.m. Saturday.
"They were found near the top of the avalanche and they had beacons
on, which really helped a lot," Matthews said. "The terrain there is
Three skiers were hospitalized with injuries that included a broken
leg, a broken ankle and a possible broken rib and collapsed lung. One
has since been discharged from the hospital.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center had been warning of
dangerous conditions across much of Colorado's mountains after two weeks
of heavy snow that lured backcountry skiers and snowboarders to the