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A Colorado Springs woman has died after she was caught in an avalanche in Utah.
The Utah County Sheriff's Office said that Ashleigh Cox, 21, died Sunday after being taken off life support.
Cox was snowshoeing with friends in American Fork Canyon Saturday when the avalanche occurred. Deputies said Cox was swept into a stream, where she was trapped for more than 20 minutes before her friends located her. It then took another 20 minutes to pull her out from under the snow. The Utah County Sheriff's Office said that during this time, Cox wasn't just buried under snow, but was also submerged in water.
Cox didn't have a pulse when she was pulled out, but medical personnel were able to get one after Cox arrived at the hospital. She was on life support through the night, and finally taken off around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. She died shortly thereafter.
The others caught in Saturday's avalanche were all accounted for.
Neighbors of the family in Colorado Springs told 11 News reporter Alyssa Chin that this is a tragic loss.
"My heart goes out to them, I know what it's like being away from family so far away especially having a tragedy happen such as this," neighbor Jon McCray said.
"My heart goes out to them, much love, and we'll keep them in our prayers," McCray added.
"We just want them to know they're not alone. We all support them here, they're like family," neighbor Adrian Alvarez said.
Cox is from Colorado Springs, and attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. According to her blog, she was studying human development and spent the summer in Romania working at an orphanage and children's hospital.
Cox's family issued a statement Tuesday:
We appreciate the love and concern expressed by family, friends, acquaintances, and the community at BYU and in Colorado Springs for the loss of our daughter Ashleigh Cox. Ashleigh planned to graduate
from BYU this spring and wanted to further her education in social work. She loved to work with those struggling with life’s challenges and dedicated her short life to serving others.
It has been difficult for us to handle the sudden loss of our daughter. Our faith in God has and will continue to help us through this difficult time. She will be missed.
A funeral will be held in Colorado Springs on February 15th. There will also be a memorial service the following Tuesday in Provo. Check local listings for times and locations.
A Pledgie account has been set up in Ashleigh’s name to help offset expenses incurred by the family.
The link is https://pledgie.com/campaigns/24098.