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Man killed in weekend avalanche near Big Sky identified

Posted at 10:23 AM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 12:23:34-05

BOZEMAN — The man killed in an avalanche on Sunday has been identified as a Bozeman resident.

According to a press release, the Gallatin County Coroner's Office said Craig Kitto, 45, succumbed to his injuries and passed away on Sunday evening.

Kitto was the principal at Whittier Elementary School in Bozeman.

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center is assessing the avalanche site.

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The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center is assessing the avalanche site today.

Kitto died from injuries sustained after being caught in an avalanche at Beehive Basin near Big Sky.

The Sheriff's Office issued the following media release on Sunday evening:

On February 14, 2021 at 11:44 am, two backcountry skiers were caught in an avalanche in Beehive Basin. Both skiers were swept down slope into trees. One was not buried and did not sustain any injuries. He immediately called 911 when he heard his partner yelling for help.

The second male sustained multiple injuries due to being drug into the trees by the avalanche and was partially buried in snow.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in Big Sky, LifeFlight and Big Sky Fire Department responded. Search and Rescue members were able to quickly make it to the backcountry location, assess the patient and start rescue procedures. A Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue helicopter team was able to transport the patient to an awaiting ambulance which then transported the patient to Big Sky Medical Center. The patient was subsequently flown to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital by LifeFlight Network helicopter.