Young avalanche survivors recount ordeal


Young avalanche survivors recount ordeal

MISSOULA, Mont. - A week after an avalanche tore through a Missoula neighborhood the two youngest victims shared their story.

Phoenix Scoles-Coburn, 8, and his sister Coral Scoles-Coburn, 10, appeared on NBC's Today Show with family Friday morning. The family shared its miraculous story with host Matt Lauer. Click here to watch the full interview.

"It sounded like an airplane crashing in my ears," said Phoenix and Coral's mother, Erin Scoles.

"It sounded like a snow plow hit a bump, which would have been the houses, and then that snowplow's coming into our house," said Scoles' fiancé Casey Greene.

Just a week ago the unthinkable urban avalanche plowed through the Missoula neighborhood, destroying homes and burying people.

Phoenix and Coral had been playing in backyard when the snow started to slide off Mount Jumbo around 4 p.m.

"It sort of looked like when you're making cookies or something and you roll out this big, little string of dough," Coral said. "But it was connected to the mountain coming down."

Without much time to think they ran but got stuck in the snow. Coral was able to push herself out. Phoenix was trapped.

"The next thing I knew I was in the snow," he said.

He doesn't remember all of what happened, but said he tried to get out.

"I tried to lick and bite my way out because I was too crunched together to get my hands out," Phoenix said.

It took emergency crews and volunteers about an hour rescue the boy. He was released from the hospital just two days later.


Fred Allendorf and his wife Michel Colville were also caught in the avalanche last Friday. The couple was sitting in their home when the avalanche hit.

Allendorf was trapped for nearly two hours before rescuers could get to him. Colville was trapped for three hours.

Allendorf remains hospitalized and has been upgraded to good condition. Colville died at Saint Patrick Hospital Sunday.

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