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Former Honesdale man dies in avalanche


May 1, 2013

A man who graduated from Honesdale High School in 1999, Ryan Novak, 33, was one of five victims who were killed in an avalanche over the past weekend. The avalanche happened in Loveland Pass, which is located about 50 miles away from Denver, CO.

Novak and five others were snowboarding when the avalanche occurred on April 27. Authorities say the men were properly equipped for the sport, but only one man made it out alive. The five who died were all buried under about eight feet of snow. The one who survived, Jerome Boulay, was only partially buried when the avalanche stopped, with his head and one shoulder sticking above the snow.

Boulay, who was not seriously injured, was taken to a local hospital but released shortly after his arrival. The avalanche was described as the second worst in terms of loss of life in the United States since 1950.

The worst occurred in 1962 in Twin Lakes, CO, when seven people lost their lives.

According to the National Geographic website, tinyurl.com/38h28go, “Avalanches kill more than 150 people worldwide each year.”