Kay was working on avalanche control when the accident happened.
“He took everything in that area so seriously and he wanted everyone to be safe,” said Michael Ray, a family friend. “That’s why he was out there doing what he was doing.”
The Colorado State Patrol assisted with a helicopter landing after Kay was caught in an avalanche around 7:45 a.m. Monday. The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the fatality.
“They shut the entire area down and sent every available [Wolf Creek] employee with a shovel to try and go find him, but by that time it was too late,” Ray said.
“Our Wolf Creek ski patrol director, while working to protect others, was caught in an avalanche which, to our great sadness, he did not survive. Wolf Creek’s management and all its employees wish to express our deepest regrets at this loss of a wonderful man and close friend. Our sympathy and condolences go out to his wife and two children,” the ski area said in a release.
Directly after Kay’s death, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center released this statement: “Forecasters warn that weather conditions this holiday week could bring more deadly slides.”