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Men Buried in Snow While Clearing Roof

Men Buried in Snow While Clearing Roof



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Alex Cabrero Reporting"These two guys were buried completely under the snow."

"It's scary. Everything about it is just scary."

Two men trying to clear snow off their roof had it all come crashing down on them. It's a reminder that even with flooding and mudslides, you still have to be careful with snow in some areas. This area was up Big Cottonwood Canyon at Brighton.

There is still a lot of snow up there, enough to make you wonder why the ski hills aren't open. But all this heavy snow is bad for rooftops. It could cause a collapse, which is why two men wanted to clear the snow off their cabin and ended up trapped.

Paula Maxfield: “We just heard this crashing off the roof of the cabin. Everything came sliding down.”

Paula Maxfield and her family just wanted to have some fun in the snow. They never thought their fun would become a disaster.

Paula Maxfield: “We ran to make sure our kids weren’t out there. And the we could see my brother’s feet kicking.”

Kicking because he couldn't breath, neither could their father. Both were trapped under all the snow and ice after it fell from their cabin’s roof and slammed them to the ground.

Janine Payne, Related to Victims: “I felt helpless because, just big sheets of ice, and you couldn’t hardly move it.”

That's when the children ran for help.

Joel Arevalo, Rescuer: “My dad, my grandpa, come help, come help.”

Joel Arevalo was one of the first to hear them. He was helping to cater a film crew shooting a Goodyear commercial near Brighton, just a snowball away from the trapped men.

Derek Mellus: “Happened to have a shovel in my truck and ran up there and just started digging.”

Joel Arevalo: “And you finally see a hand, some hair, and then they start breathing again. Both were completely purple.”

By that time deputies and fire crews arrived and were able to get both men out.

Lt. John Fassett, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office: “Both were completely buried and fortunately we got them out quickly.”

Father and son were taken to the hospital.

John Fassett: “It looks like they’re going to be okay. When snow slides like that and you got large chunks of it, the mechanism of injury is equal to a minor accident, like a 25 to 30 miles per hour crash.”

A crash they're able to walk away from because of quick work by strangers.

Paula Maxfield: “It’s unbelievable. They came fast. They worked hard.” Janine Payne: “It was a life-saving thing, so we appreciate it.”

Last we heard both men are going to be okay. Some places still have lots of snow, so if you live in one of them and want to clear the roof, just be careful.

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