Northstar man dies after being trapped in snow |

Northstar man dies after being trapped in snow

The heavy snowfall of last week’s storm took another life last Friday, when a man in Northstar was found stuck headfirst in the snow in the front yard of his home.

Forrest William Howard Jr., 45, of Berkeley, apparently had dug a hole several feet deep in his yard to uncover his utility box, according to a press release issued on Feb. 13 by Sgt. John Giovannini of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

Placer County Deputies and Northstar fire rescue personnel were called to the scene and found him trapped upside down in the hole, buried in the snow up to his waist. Because he was caught in the utility box at the bottom of the hole, it took several minutes to free Howard from the hole and the heavy snow, said Lt. Larry Ochoa, a Truckee Fire Protection District paramedic who responded to the accident scene. The rescue personnel had to cut through the utility box to free Howard’s head. Howard was unresponsive when finally uncovered and removed from the hole, and paramedics began lifesaving efforts. A Careflight helicopter responded and airlifted Howard to the Washoe Medical Center in Reno, where he was pronounced dead at 5:46 p.m. by medical staff.

“It was a pretty chaotic scene,” said Ochoa. “Quite a few bystanders were at the scene.”

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is handling the coroner’s investigation into Howard’s death.

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