Snowboard champion Estelle Balet killed in avalanche

Posted at 11:48 AM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 13:59:54-04

Swiss snowboard champion Estelle Balet has been killed in an avalanche.

The 21-year-old Balet, who was the Freeride World Tour champion, had been filming above the village of Orsieres in the Swiss Alps Tuesday when the avalanche struck.

She was reported to be wearing safety equipment including a location device in the event of an avalanche as well as a helmet and an airbag to help stay above sliding snow.

“Despite immediate efforts to revive her, she died at the scene,” Valais police said in a statement. “An investigation has been started to determine the causes of the accident.”

The Freeride World Tour, a global extreme snowboarding event, said in a statement: “Estelle Balet was a naturally gifted shining star and demonstrated remarkable talent … bringing home her second title as World Champion just a few weeks ago in Verbier.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Estelle Balet as we send our deepest sympathy and condolences during this very difficult time.”