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2 boys dead after being buried by avalanche in Mill Hollow area

By Faith Heaton Jolley and Lisa Riley Roche, | Posted - Jan 19th, 2013 @ 6:48pm

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KAMAS — Two boys caught and buried in an avalanche on Friday afternoon died at Primary Children's Medical Center early Saturday morning.

On Friday afternoon, the Sweat family of Heber City went snowmobiling in the Mill Hollow area. They stopped their vehicles on the West Fork of the Duchense road, and the four children walked approximately 50 feet to the edge of the snow to look at the creek below.

The snow on the bank gave way, and three of the children fell and slid 30 feet down the steep embankment. Two of the children, 14-year-old Coleman Sweat and an 7-year-old Trevan Sweat, were buried in about 3 feet of snow. The third child slid about half-way down the embankment but was not buried.

Parents Jason and Janette Sweat worked to dig out the boys using a probe, but heavy snow and ice blocks made it difficult to locate the two boys. Janette Sweat left the area to find cellphone service while Jason Sweat continued to dig out the boys.

After about 30 minutes, he located the boys and he and his wife performed CPR on both boys for 30 to 40 minutes until search and rescue teams arrived with two AirMed helicopters. According to the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office, the two sisters of the boys climbed to higher ground so the helicopter could see their location in the ravine.

"One of the search and rescue members told me that, for him, this was the call he's been dreading for 20 years," said Wasatch County Chief Deputy Jared Rigby.

The boys were transported to Primary Children's Medical Center where extensive efforts were made to revive them. However, both boys later died from their injuries.

The Sweat family is well-known in Heber, and the accident has hit people in the community hard, including the first responders.

"Like the family, they're changed forevermore by these kind of things," Rigby said of the community.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to this family in their time of great need," Wasatch County Sheriff Todd Bonner said. "I know them. Their family is strong, and will be stronger still because of this. I think I can speak for the entire community in saying we love them, we look up to them, and we will do anything we can to help them through this."

Initial calls about the accident started coming in shortly after 4 p.m., the sheriff's office said. Search and rescue teams from the Summit County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Forest Service and Utah State Parks also responded to the accident.

The family says Coleman was a great athlete and loved to wrestle. He attended Rocky Mountain Middle School and was a member of the school's wrestling team, according to the sheriff's office. His grandfather called him a star champion.

Trevan loved his family and was his father's shadow, the boy's grandfather said. Trevan attended Old Mill Elementary School.

An account* has been set up to help the family at Wells Fargo Bank and Utah Community Credit Union locations. Donations can be made to the Memorial Funds of Coleman and Trevan Sweat.

Video contribution: Sandra Yi



* has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.


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