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Ski patrol member dies in avalanche

Dec. 31, 2012 at 1:17 AM

ASPEN, Colo., Dec. 31 (UPI) -- A ski patrol member was swept off a cliff to her death by a small avalanche Sunday at the Snowmass ski resort in Colorado, authorities said.

Pitkin County authorities identified the skier as Patricia Hileman, 49, of Snowmass Village, The Denver Post reported.

"This is a shocking and tragic accident that deeply affects everyone in the company," Mike Kaplan, president and chief executive of Aspen Skiing Co., said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with her family and friends at this time."

Hileman, who was employed by Aspen Skiing Co., was skiing alone inbounds in an area known as the Ship's Prow Glades when the slide occurred. Her body was found shortly before 1:30 p.m. local time.

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