Colorado avalanche survivor buried for 4 hours, 1 arm free

8:20 PM, Apr 24, 2013   |    comments
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GEORGETOWN - The sole survivor of an avalanche that killed five men in Colorado was fully buried in snow except for his left arm, which allowed him to clear snow from his face so he could breathe.

The final report on the slide released Wednesday said Jerome Boulay was stranded for about four hours before rescuers arrived to free him near Loveland Pass.

A spokesperson for Boulay told 9NEWS that he is surrounded by family and friends at home. He is still shaken up by Saturday's event, the spokesperson said.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said the slide, the state's deadliest since 1962, was large enough to bury or destroy a car.

The center's report said one of the victims was buried 10 to 12 feet deep.

The center has previously said the avalanche was the type caused by a weak snow layer that can be buried deep in the snowpack.

The victims were listed as 36-year-old Ian Lanphere of Crested Butte, 33-year-old Rick Gaukel of Estes Park, 31-year-old Chris Peters from Lakewood, 32-year-old Joe Timlin of Gypsum and 33-year-old Ryan Novack of Crested Butte.

Shaina Jones, a friend of the group, said the victims loved the outdoors and lived life to the fullest.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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