ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — A man swallowed by an avalanche in Squaw Valley on Friday survived after a group of snowboarders rushed to help dig him out.
Evan Huck says he began losing air less than a minute after being buried in snow.
“I was under there for four to six minutes,” said Evan Huck.
The avalanche swallowed Evan Huck Friday, trapping him beneath feet of snow.
Huck lost consciousness, snowboarders rushed over to dig him out.
“That is the only singular thought I had, is how can I help, what can I do, what’s the next step, you forget about yourself completely, whether you’re cold or hurt or anything,” said Heather Turning, one of the snowboarders who helped rescue Huck.
Narrowly escaping getting caught in the avalanche herself, Turning, from Roseville, jumped into action.
“It was an incredible whoosh, a powerful flood of snow shooting through the trees and I heard someone yell avalanche,” recalled Turning.
Crawling up the hill, she frantically started working to free him.
Turning helped uncover the man, brushing the snow off his face and unclipping his feet from his snowboard.
“I just started digging his leg out, and doing what I could. I couldn’t believe I was there to help, but when you do you frantically do what you can and you keep digging,” Turning said.
She recalls Huck’s first words:
“He asked me ‘is my wife OK?’ I said, ‘Yes sir, your wife is just fine’ and he took a moment to take that in,” she said.
Huck’s wife, who was also swept under the snow, managed to make her way out and was inconsolable, thinking her husband was gone.
But he’s alive, thanks to quick-thinking snowboarders.
“These folks were really heroes and I’m super thankful that they were around us,” Huck said.
Turning says she’s not a hero, she was just at the right place at the right time.