Austrian Avalanche Kills Three Skiers, Including Teen Motocross Star Rene Hofer

An avalanche in the Salzburg province of Austria killed three skiers, including 19-year-old motocross champion Rene Hofer, and injured two others on Dec. 4, according to officials.

Regional police said in a statement that a roughly 200-meter wide chunk of snow hit eight skiers who were part of a 11-member group climbing up the slope during a ski tour in the Tweng area.

Rescuers were able to locate the three buried men using their search devices, but one had already died while another later died at a hospital in the southern city of Klagenfurt.

The third buried skier was not carrying a search device. Rescuers located his body about four hours after the avalanche.

Two other skiers were partly buried but were able to free themselves. They were taken to a local hospital.

It was reported on Dec. 5 that among the dead was Hofer and his two friends.

Red Bull KTM paid tribute to Hofer, who was a world and European champion at the junior level.

“The entire KTM family is deeply saddened by the terrible news that MX2 factory racer Rene Hofer, along with two of his friends, has passed away following a skiing incident in Austria,” the racing team said in a statement.

“Rene, a multi-time junior champion and GP winner with a bright future in Grand Prix ahead of him, will be remembered not only for his talent on the track, but also for his approachable, fun-loving and friendly personality, along with his ever-present smile,” the team further said.

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