JOHNSTOWN, Colo. (CBS4) – A Johnstown family that survived an avalanche near Copper Mountain along a stretch of Interstate 70 known as Tenmile Canyon. They spent part of their Sunday like many Coloradans do… on the slopes.
They left early, and after spending only minutes on the freeway, they saw the avalanche heading right for them.
In a matter of seconds, they were surrounded by snow, and found themselves stuck in their vehicle for the next several hours.
“You can see here coming in from the right, just clouds you know coming onto the road and completely over taking us,” said Shaune Golemon.
Shaune and his wife, Tram, made sure he knew what was happening.
“I saw it coming down and I wrapped his hands, ‘Shaune, Shaune, Avalanche!'” she said.
Shaune says he couldn’t try to race the snow to escape or slam on the breaks.
“As soon as it hit us, everything changed, it got real,” he said.
The family couldn’t see anything and didn’t know how much snow surrounded them.
“Wow, we might actually get buried here, this is pretty serious.”
Shaune was able to crawl out of the sunroof and open the windows. Then he started digging out. The family ended up getting home at around 2 a.m.
“How many people survive an avalanche and able to talk about it,” he said. “It’s nothing short of a miracle, it couldn’t have turned out any better other than not having an avalanche occur.”
The Colorado Department of Transportation says if you’re caught in an avalanche while in your vehicle, turn it off to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. They also suggest you stay in your car and call for help, and to be prepared with an emergency kit.