Victims in Missoula Avalanche Continue to Recover - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Victims in Missoula Avalanche Continue to Recover

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Sunday the Missoula Avalanche Center released information the avalanche in Missoula on Friday was triggered by a snowboarder. The survivors of that avalanche continue to recover. Retired UM professor Fred Allendorf is in serious condition and his wife Michel Colville is in critical condition. The third survivor, 8-year-old Phoenix Scoles, is in good condition.

Casey Greene says on Friday afternoon, his fiancee, Erin Scoles, saw a nightmare play out before her own eyes. Green says his fiancee watched as the avalanche came sweeping down Mount Jumbo engulfing her two children who were playing in the yard. Greene, an experienced back country skier, estimates the slide was traveling between 60 and 120 miles per hour when it struck Scoles' 10-year-old daughter, Coral and 8-year-old son, Phoenix. Coral was able to get herself out of the snow quickly, but Phoenix was trapped. Greene says miraculously, Phoenix and the other two survivors were trapped inside air pockets.

That allowed them to breathe while search and rescue crews and neighbors with avalanche shovels and probes worked furiously to dig them out. Forty-five minutes, later, crews pulled Phoenix out, and then, Fred Allendorf and his wife, Michel Colville surfaced.

And the community support continues days later. People have already donated more than $18,000 to an account for the Scoles family, surpassing their goal of $15,000. Greene says they'll use the funds for hospital bills and a new rental, after their home was significantly damaged in the slide.

And dozens of volunteers are still shoveling through snow and debris from the homes that were destroyed in the slide. Missoula resident Amy Climburg says, "I think it's a beautiful example of what Missoula wants to do."

Greene says he and his family have been absolutely blown away by the unwavering support the community has shown in the aftermath of the avalanche. If you would like to make a donation to the family of Phoenix Scoles click on connections.