Son of ex-NFL star kicker Pete Gogolak killed in avalanche
HELENA, Mont. -- The son of former star NFL kicker Pete Gogolak was killed in a weekend avalanche while skiing near Whitefish Mountain Resort.
David Gogolak recently moved to northwestern Montana after spending years as a restaurateur in San Francisco. Authorities said the 36-year-old Gogolak was skiing with his brother-in-law, who survived Sunday's avalanche. Also killed was Anthony Kollmann, a 19-year-old avid skier from Kalispell.
A telephone call to Pete Gogolak's home in Darien, Conn., was not immediately returned. A memorial service was planned for Thursday in Whitefish, where the younger Gogolak lived.
Flathead County authorities were unable to confirm reports that two others were buried in the slide, but two snowmobilers who witnessed the avalanche were taken back to the site Wednesday to be interviewed again by investigators.
A storm Monday night and Tuesday dropped between 8 and 14 inches of new snow in the area. About 20 searchers looked for four hours Tuesday afternoon after groomers scraped 5 to 7 feet of snow from the search area, Undersheriff Pete Wingert said.
Avalanches have killed at least 21 people across the West since Dec. 2, according to the National Avalanche Center. The national annual average for avalanche deaths is about 25. Thirty-five people were killed nationwide in avalanches in the 2001-02 season, the most on record, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
David Gogolak is survived by his wife, Nicole, and children Graylin and Johnny.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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