2 teenage snowshoers killed in avalanche identified

SEATTLE — Two teenage snowshoers killed in an avalanche near Snoqualmie Pass were identified Tuesday.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the boys as Declan Ervin, 17, and Niko Suokko, 18, both of Bellevue. The cause of death for each was listed as “asphyxia due to entrapment beneath snow.”

The International School in Bellevue sent out this message to parents:  “I am writing to inform you of a somber event within our school community. Late yesterday, we learned of the death of two Bellevue students, one a former student and one a current student at our school. Our thoughts are with the students’ family and friends, many of whom attend Bellevue schools.

“Such situations can be alarming and upsetting to students. Counselors will be available at our school to support students in processing their feelings and concerns. Teachers and school staff will be carefully watching for signs of students who may be in need additional support.”

The two boys went missing Sunday while snowshoeing in the backcountry near Alpental, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Their parents called 911 Sunday night to report the boys missing.

 

The sheriff’s office said that with the help of GPS on one of the teen’s phones, searchers were able to get a longitude/latitude of where the teens were generally located.

“At one point the searchers themselves had to pull out because of another avalanche that they were concerned would occur,” the sheriff’s office said.  “When search and rescue was able to go back to the area a short time later, they found the teens, unfortunately they were deceased due to an avalanche.”