Fort Collins dental office grieves loss of hygienist killed in avalanche

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Michelle Lindsay, 29, of Fort Collins, was buried under the heavy snow Sunday— killed by an avalanche near Cameron Pass in Larimer County.

She worked as a dental hygienist at Murphy Dental in Fort Collins for about six years, according to Dr. Mike Murphy. The doctor says his entire office, and Lindsay’s patients, were shocked to learn the news.

Facebook pictures show Lindsay’s adventurous lifestyle. Authorities say she was skiing with a group on South Diamond Peak when snow gave way.

Murphy says Lindsay was more than a valued member of his team. She was considered a part of the family, who spent her entire short career at Murphy Dental.

“She just had a beautiful smile…vibrant, full of energy,” Murphy said.

Authorities say a member of Lindsay’s skiing group, and others, tried to rescue her. She was pronounced dead on location.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said the area had a moderate risk for avalanches at the time. There have been at least 185 reported avalanches in Colorado this season. Sunday’s avalanche near Cameron Pass marks the first fatality of this season.

Lindsay died doing what she loved. She was all about outdoor recreational excitement, according to Murphy.

“This past August, she actually decreased her time at our practice to become a ranger,” Murphy said. “That’s how much she loved the great outdoors.”

According to Facebook, Lindsay moved to Fort Collins in 2013. She lived in Alaska before calling Colorado home.

Murphy said he learned the news on Sunday when Michelle’s boyfriend spoke to him on the phone. Michelle’s boyfriend was with her at the time— on that skiing trip that turned tragic, according to Murphy.

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