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Neurosurgeon is third avalanche victim found at Silver Mountain

UPDATED: Sat., Jan. 11, 2020

Dr. Molly Elisabeth Hubbard, 33, died Tuesday in an avalanche on Silver Mountain. Search crews found her body Thursday, making her the third person killed in the avalanche. (University of Minnesota Department of Neurosurgery)
Dr. Molly Elisabeth Hubbard, 33, died Tuesday in an avalanche on Silver Mountain. Search crews found her body Thursday, making her the third person killed in the avalanche. (University of Minnesota Department of Neurosurgery)

A neurosurgeon working on a pediatric fellowship in Portland has been identified as the third person killed in an avalanche this week at Silver Mountain.

“Molly Hubbard was a superlative physician and surgeon with exceptional judgment, technical skills and deep compassion for her patients and colleagues,” Dr. Nathan Selden, chair of the Oregon Health and Science University’s Department of Neurosurgery, said in a statement. “She was also an extraordinary human being who was loved and valued by all who knew her. Molly’s loss is unfathomable to her friends, her family, our community at OHSU, and to myself as her mentor. We will do our best to honor her extraordinary character.”

With the help of specialized radar equipment deployed by a helicopter crew, about 120 people aided in the retrieval of the 33-year-old Hubbard’s body Thursday morning beneath about 20 feet of snow.

She is among three people killed by the Tuesday avalanche that swept down an inbounds ski run called 16 to 1 on Wardner Peak.

The avalanche also killed two longtime Silver Mountain skiers from the Spokane area and buried a handful of others who survived.

Hubbard arrived in Portland after her graduation from the University of Minnesota’s residency program in 2019.

“Her love of life, her jokes, her optimism, will be sorely missed,” UM said in a Facebook post Friday afternoon.

Hubbard was first reported missing on Wednesday morning when a family member called Silver Mountain resort. Her van was found in the parking lot of the resort, and ski patrol members and others immediately launched an intensive search including the use of dogs trained to find victims in the snow.

When those efforts did not find Hubbard, a helicopter search crew using radar from Two Bear Air arrived Thursday morning and quickly directed searchers where to dig for the body.

The ski resort reopened on Friday.

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