WSP trooper killed in Kittitas County avalanche

KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. — The man who was killed in an avalanche Monday in Kittitas County has been identified as a Washington State Patrol trooper, officials said.

WSP identified the man as Steve Houle, who served 28 years with the Commercial Vehicle Division, all in Kittitas County.

On Monday afternoon, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue crews responded to the avalanche, which happened in the French Cabin Creek area near Knox Trailhead.

Deputies told KIRO 7 that Houle and another man were on snow bikes when they were caught in the avalanche. Houle’s riding partner was able to get out but couldn’t find Houle.

After a search, crews found Houle’s body in the snow.

“Steve was a great person and an excellent employee, loved and respected by us all. We hold his memory and his family close to our hearts in this painfully sad time,” said WSP Chief John Batiste.