Santa Monica filmmaker killed in Mount Everest avalanche after Nepal quake

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Santa Monica documentary filmmaker is among those killed on Mount Everest when a massive 7.8 earthquake in Nepal triggered an avalanche.

Tom Taplin traveled to Everest to make a documentary about the community of climbers at the base camp. He had been there for almost four weeks when the quake struck.

Taplin was one of 18 people who died after a large cloud of snow created wind gusts that blasted through the camp.

His wife, Corey Freyer, said it was her husband's fourth trip to Nepal and that mountaineering was his passion.

"We were great companions and we had a lot more things to do in our lives," she said.

Freyer said she never expected to get a call from one of the climbing guides on a satellite phone with the heartbreaking news.

""I guess he was blown away by the blast rather than being buried in any rubble," she said.

She added that her husband died doing what he loved, but she is still devastated by his death. Taplin had a larger than life personality whose energy was infections, and Freyer said that he loved going to extreme landscapes.

"We went to Antartica together. We've trekked in Patagonia, and those are the kinds of places that inspired him with his filmmaking, his videography," she said.

Freyer does not know when her husband's body will be flown back to the U.S., but she does plan to have a memorial service in the future so that Taplin's friends can celebrate his life.
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