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Large Avalanche Buries Car Along Highway 50 in Tahoe

Photo: El Dorado County Sheriff

On Sunday afternoon, an avalanche slide onto Highway 50 near Frog Pond in Tahoe, pushing a car into oncoming traffic and causing an accident. The incident, deemed the “the largest snow slide on highway 50 yet this spring,”  closed the road for much of the day and sent a 72-year-old driver to the hospital.

When the avalanche hit a Nissan Xterra around 3:35 pm, the car was buried window-deep and pushed to the other side of the road where it was hit by a Jeep Cherokee and eventually rested on the road’s far barrier.

In a social media post on Sunday night, the El Dorado County Sheriff showed the car buried along the popular highway:

Traffic delays were caused by the incident, but Highway Patrol and CalTrans were able to clean up the area and get traffic moving again:

With warming temperatures and large snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, avalanches or “snow slides” become more prevalent and can cause travel delays and dangerous situations for travelers. While cars are rarely buried by the natural phenomenon, it’s important not to panic if hit with an avalanche in your car.

People driving through the mountains are encouraged to fill their tanks, carry blankets and emergency kits, and have a fully-charged cell phone. If buried by an avalanche, keep your windows rolled up, turn off your car and use your cell phone for help. If you don’t have a phone, use your horn to alert other drivers on the road. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to exit the vehicle without being dug out.

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