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High school teacher killed in avalanche remembered by family, co-workers

Brian Bunnell died while snowboarding with his three sons.

CONIFER, Colo. — What was supposed to be a fun day in the mountains turned into tragedy.

Brian Bunnell was killed in an avalanche on Berthoud Pass while snowboarding with his three sons on Monday. All four were caught in the avalanche. One of Bunnell's sons was also buried but was rescued by his brothers and survived.

RELATED: Snowboarder killed in avalanche on Berthoud Pass identified

Bunnell, 44, was an avid mountain biker and snowboarder. 

"Just the shock of someone taken away in such a tragic situation as the avalanche and being there with his family," said Wes Paxton, Jefferson County Schools Community Superintendent. "His sons were with him and that just hit me really hard."

Paxton hired Bunnell as a science teacher at Conifer High School seven years ago when Paxton was principal. Paxton said Bunnell was great in engaging students.

"Chemistry is a very challenging subject," he said. "He did a really good job of making connections with the students, how they understood it, how it's relevant today. Also, he made connections because he loved the outdoors."

Not only was Bunnell a teacher at Conifer High School, he was also a Mountain Biking coach at Green Mountain High School in Lakewood where he lived.

Bunnell's family released a statement that reads: 

The family would like to say that Brian lived life to its fullest each and every day. We will try to honor his memory by doing the same. He was spending time having fun with his 3 sons when he died, which is offering some solace in this time of extreme pain.


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