Young motocross star among three skiers killed in avalanche in Austria

Rising sports star Rene Hofer, 19, and two friends killed in Salzburg province, team says

Andy Gregory
Sunday 05 December 2021 17:42
<p>Rene Hofer</p>

Rene Hofer

A young motocross star is among three skiers who have been killed in an avalanche while trying to ascend a mountain in Austria.

Eight members of an 11-strong skiing tour group were hit by a 200-yard-wide slab of snow on Saturday in the Tweng area, Salzburg province.

Three Austrian men – two aged 19 and another aged 24 – were buried in the torrent, regional police said.

Rescuers were able to locate two of the men with the help of their search devices but one was already dead and the other died at a hospital in Klagenfurt, where he was flown by helicopter.

The third buried skier wasn't carrying a search device. His body was located about four hours after the avalanche and recovered.

Another two members of the group were partially buried but were able to free themselves and were taken to a local hospital.

It was reported on Sunday that Rene Hofer, 19, a motocross racer, was among those killed in the avalanche, along with two friends.

His racing team KTM described him as a, “multi-time junior champion and GP winner with a bright future in Grand Prix ahead of him”.

In late October, he won his maiden Grand Prix victory in the MX2 class, becoming the first Austrian in 34 years to win a main-category event in the sport. He had been a world and European champion when competing in the sport at a junior level.

Hofer, “will be remembered not only for his talent on the track but also for his approachable, fun-loving and friendly personality, along with his ever-present smile”, the team wrote on social media.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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