Kristine Ciesinski

Famous opera singer was a force in the Teton Valley community

Update, Monday, June 11: A potluck community gathering has been planned for Tuesday, June 12 at 6 p.m. at St Francis of the Tetons Church in Alta, Wyo. 

Grand Teton National Park confirmed that Kristine Ciesinski, a Victor resident, world class opera singer and cornerstone of the Teton Valley community, died Saturday afternoon in a glider accident.

Ciesinski had a passenger. The name of the other individual was not released until next of kin notifications have been completed.

According to a press release issued by the Park, the Teton Interagency Dispatch was contacted at noon Saturday, June 9, about two individuals that did not return from a scenic glider ride that departed from Driggs. The call was being investigated by the Teton County, Wyoming Sheriff's Office as initial indications were that the glider and individuals may be located south of the park boundary.

As park crews were mobilizing to assist Teton County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, the park received information that one of the individual's phone was pinged and it indicated a location in the park. An independent helicopter then contacted the park that they saw what they believed to be glider wreckage in the park. Park rangers flew to the site, confirmed it was the glider and that there were two deceased individuals. The wreckage was located between the Middle and South Teton, above Icefloe Lake at approximately 10,800 feet.

Park rangers recovered the two bodies via a long-line aerial operation.

The National Park Service is conducting an investigation. This story is developing. 

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