Former ski instructor saves man buried in avalanche on Sugarloaf Mountain

SUGARLOAF, Maine — A former instructor at a popular New England ski resort helped rescue a stranger after an avalanche buried him up to his neck.

Nik Krueger was hitting the slopes on Sugarloaf Mountain after a massive snowfall when his friend became embedded in the snow and the man he rode on the lift with vanished beneath the white powder.

“So we get about five turns in and within those five turns my friend behind me was stuck about headfirst above me in about two-and-a-half or 3 feet of snow. He double-ejected out of his skis. He was unable to dig himself out,” Krueger said.

Moments later, the stranger riding with the friends vanished in an instant.

“When I turned back around I saw the stranger go over the crest of the hill and the whole thing collapsed, walled him up as he skied over the top of it.”

The former ski instructor was cautious about making any sudden movements, knowing he could trigger another, more violent onslaught of snow. But the friend was eventually able to free himself and Kreuger then rushed to lend aid to the other trapped skier.

“I took my skies off and I just started digging as fast as I could,” Kreuger detailed. “Accidents like this can happen when you least expect it.”

Krueger says once they figured out everyone was safe and that the conditions were okay, he and his friend continued skiing on the trail.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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