Teen pulls two friends to safety after sudden avalanche - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Teen pulls two friends to safety after sudden avalanche

(NBC) - A 12-year-old boy saved two of his friends after they were hit by an avalanche last weekend.

Dalton Anderson dug two of his friends out of the snow at Mission Ridge Ski Resort near Wenatchee.

"Huge blocks of snow like half the size of me all came down," said Dalton.

He described the avalanche that could have ended in tragedy for him and his friends, 13-year-olds Payton Weber and Wyatt Baird.  All three are avid snowboarders. 

"It went around me but hit Payton and Wyatt. I thought it was pretty fun, but when I saw the two of them I was freaking out," Dalton said.

"I was kinda scared," said Payton. "Well, really scared."

As soon as Dalton dug him out, Payton called 911 on his cell phone. Meanwhile Dalton grabbed the shovel out of a backpack and ran for his other friend Wyatt.

"I looked up and saw huge chunks of snow coming at me, and I remember flying back and I saw the sky and then everything went dark," says Wyatt. 

Wyatt was buried under the snow with only his hands showing.

"There was like 2 feet of snow on top of his head. It was hard for us to find his head," said Dalton.

"I stuck my hands under his helmet, unbuckled his helmet, his lips were purple and there was blood coming out of the side of his mouth," explained Dalton. 

Wyatt spent about 7 minutes under the snow, then the next two nights in the hospital with serious contusions to his lungs. His mother credits Dalton with saving her son's life.

"If it wasn't for Dalton, Wyatt wouldn't be here," said Shaunna Anderson.

"I can't let go of that kid. He's like my own son. He's part of our family and will be forever," Anderson said. 

Dalton says he learned what to do in an avalanche from watching the Discovery Channel. All the boys said together they will be taking a class on avalanche safety and CPR.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.

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