No charges in fatal Mont. avalanche

Associated Press Published:

MISSOULA, Mont. -- A prosecutor in Montana says he won't file charges against four young men who were snowboarding or sledding on Mount Jumbo when an avalanche struck a Missoula neighborhood, killing a woman.

Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg said Monday there is no evidence of criminal intent or negligence in the Feb. 28 slide.

Sixty-eight-year-old Michel Colville died from injuries she suffered in the avalanche. Her husband, 66-year-old Fred Allendorf, and an 8-year-old neighbor, Phoenix Coles-Scoburn, were buried but survived.

Police recommended against charges. Van Valkenburg says Allendorf and Phoenix's mother told him they wouldn't object if no charges were filed.

Van Valkenburg says the young men might have trespassed on an area closed to protect elk, but he says city prosecutors should decide whether to pursue that.

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