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Motocross star, 19, among three skiers killed in avalanche in Austria

·2-min read
STOCK IMAGE: Near Salzburg in Austria (AFP via Getty Images)
STOCK IMAGE: Near Salzburg in Austria (AFP via Getty Images)

A rising motocross star was among three skiers killed in avalanche in central Austria, authorities said.

Eight people were hit by an estimated 200-metre (655-foot) wide slab of snow while on a slope during a ski tour on Saturday in the Tweng area, in Salzburg province.

The KTM team said 19-year-old Rene Hofer, a junior motocross world and European champion, was among the dead.

Their statement read in full: “Rest in peace Rene (Hofer). 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.

“KTM would like to send love and heartfelt condolences to Rene’s family, friends, his team, along with the entire motocross community during this incredibly difficult time. 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.

“Tragically, shortly after mid-day on December 4th 2021, during an alpine skiing trip with 10 friends, the 19-year-old Austrian and seven others in his group was caught out by an avalanche. Rene and two of his friends did not survive the incident.Rene will be greatly missed by everyone in the KTM family.Ride on peacefully Rene. You will be missed immeasurably.”

Three of the skiers who died in the incident were buried by the avalanche.

Another two were partly buried and able to free themselves, police said.

Rescuers were able to locate two of the others with the help of their search devices; one was already dead and the other later died at a hospital in Klagenfurt.

The third buried skier was not carrying a search device.

His body was located about four hours after the avalanche and recovered.

The victims were Austrian men, two of them aged 19 and the other 24.

The two injured skiers were taken to a local hospital.

The eight people hit by the avalanche were skiing as a group of 11.

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