Bonney Lake Police Officer dies in avalanche in Kittitas County

KITTITAS COUNTY -- Two men died when a group of four people were swept in an avalanche near Esmeralda Peak on Saturday, authorities said.

The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office said one made it out with minor injuries and another was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries.

They were snowmobiling in a remote area, 20 miles North East of Cle Elum and above 4,600 feet elevation.

One of the victims who died has been identified as 41-year-old James Larson, a Bonney Lake Police Officer. Officer Larson worked over 14 years with Bonney Lake Police after serving as a police officer for the City of Yelm. There is a growing memorial outside of the police station Sunday morning.

The other victim is 27-year-old Zach Roundtree of Bonney Lake.

According to officials, the avalanche danger in many areas is still elevated, this marks five avalanche deaths in the past seven days.