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Airman killed in Weber County snowmobile accident identified

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Posted at 3:21 PM, Dec 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-10 18:20:35-05

WEBER COUNTY, Utah – A man was killed after a snowmobile accident in the area of the Monte Cristo Range Sunday afternoon.

Authorities later identified the victim as Airman First Class Christopher Martinez, 22, who was stationed at Hill Air Force Base.

According to a press release from the Weber County Sheriff's Office, personnel responded to the crash at 2:08 p.m.

The accident occurred about five miles up from the snowmobile parking lot on Highway 39 in the area of Dry Bread.

According to the press release, a group of three airmen from HAFB and a civilian were out riding snowmobiles Sunday when the accident happened.

"It's a fairly steep embankment they were riding but it's pretty common for people to ride that back to the road," said Sgt. Lane Findlay of the Weber County Sheriff's Department.

Three individuals made it down, the fourth never arrived.

The group moved back up the hill a few minutes later and located Martinez, who had crashed and was pinned under the snowmobile. He was not breathing and did not have a pulse when he was found.

The three men had a S.P.O.T. emergency beacon which they activated, alerting authorities.

"The first responding deputy actually borrowed a snowmobile from Club Rec, a rental center and jumped on it and went on up to the scene," Findlay said.

More Weber County deputies, Weber County Fire personnel and two members of the Cache County Search and Rescue team were also able to make it to Martinez, who was pronounced dead on scene.

The accident is still under investigation, according to the press release.

Martinez was assigned to the 729th Air Control Squadron. He joined the Air Force in 2011, and last year he spent 6 months in Asia on a deployment.

Lt. Col. Darin Humiston is the commander for the 729th Air Control Squadron, and he said in a press release the loss of Martinez has hit them hard.

"The death of Airman 1st Class Christopher Martinez is a tragic loss to our
Air Force family and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends
and coworkers during this difficult time," Humiston said in the release. "He was a valuable member of Team Hill and will be greatly missed by all."