Missoula police finish avalanche investigation


MISSOULA, Mont. - Missoula police have completed an investigation into the cause of an urban avalanche.

Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Travis Welsh said the case has been handed over to city and county prosecutors for review.

The avalanche was triggered by snowboarders on Mount Jumbo in February. The snow slid down into a Rattlesnake neighborhood. It buried three people and damaged homes.

Phoenix Scoles-Coburn, 8, was trapped under the snow for about an hour before rescuers could pull him out. He was released from the hospital just two days later.

Fred Allendorf and his wife Michel Colville were in their home when the avalanche hit. Allendorf was buried for two hours; he suffered several injuries and was released from the hospital recently. Colville was trapped for about three hours. She died in the hospital two days later. 

It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether there is probable cause to charge the snowboarders.

NBC Montana will update this story as more information is available.

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