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February 19, 2013
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Grand County Sheriff's Office identifies dead snowmobiler

Grand County Search and Rescue responded to a report of a fatal snowmobile accident on the Corona (Rollins) Pass road east of Winter Park at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18.

The snowmobiler, who has been identified as Michael Ford, 43, from Idaho Springs was northbound on the groomed trail when he apparently lost control of his machine and ran off the trail, striking a tree six feet above the ground. The accident was discovered by his companions.

The man, who was not wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fifteen members of GCSAR extricated the body to the Lakota trailhead. The damaged snowmobile, which was owned by one of the man's companions, was impounded by the Grand County Sheriff.

This is the second backcountry fatality this month for the rescue team. Local resident Dawn Cone, 85, who had been cross country skiing, was found dead of natural causes off Highway 125 on Feb. 8.

Earlier Monday many of the same GCSAR team members had responded to a search for an overdue skier whose vehicle was found parked at the Meadow Creek trailhead. Peter Gibbs of Estes Park was found a short distance away while returning to his vehicle. He had stayed an extra night in a cabin without notifying his family, who had reported him missing.

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The Sky-Hi News Updated Feb 20, 2013 11:03AM Published Feb 19, 2013 07:22PM Copyright 2013 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.