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Men post selfie while trapped in avalanche on Highway 89

David Ortiz and Neal Allen Shutler inside avalanche-trapped vehicle.
David Ortiz and Neal Allen Shutler inside avalanche-trapped vehicle. David Ortiz and Neale Shutler via CHP

Two men posted a picture online of themselves trapped under the snow after an avalanche early Monday morning engulfed their car on Highway 89.

The avalanche between Alpine Meadows and Tahoe City caught the car in its path, the California Highway Patrol noted on its traffic incident website.

The slide, which authorities said occurred about 1 a.m., covered 200 feet and was 12 feet high at its termination, according to the CHP. Officers had no estimate of when Highway 89 would reopen.

Caught in the slide were David Ortiz and Neale Allen Shutler. In a picture on Facebook, the pair gave the thumbs up and sported wide grins from within their snowbound vehicle.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office said the pair got a call through to 911 for help. A large crew of fire personnel searched the area and found their buried vehicle.

The vehicle’s roof was covered by three feet of snow and car’s lights were flashing, but the men were not visible. Ortiz and Shutler were in good health when rescued.

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to free the men, the North Tahoe Fire Protection District said in a news release.

Said David Ortiz on Facebook: “Huge shoutout to North Tahoe Fire Department and paramedics. They had us out of there in under an hour.”

Chain controls were in effect Monday morning on Highway 50. Avalanche-control measures were also being taken to lessen the danger.

Chains were also required on Interstate 80.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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