NewsCovering Colorado


Swept away: Colorado family survives avalanche

Posted at 12:12 PM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 14:12:47-05

DENVER – Shaune Golemon and his family were headed home from a day of skiing on Sunday when the unimaginable happened.

His young daughter who was in the back seat of their truck was the first to notice the danger headed straight their way as they drove home on I-70 in Summit County.

“She started saying, ‘Hey! Hey! Hey!’ You know, trying to get our attention, you know, ‘What is that?’, Shaune Golemon said. “And Tram [Shaune’s wife] looked over and she started yelling, you know, ‘Avalanche! Avalanche!”

He said he had seconds to decide what to do.

Golemon said he thought about trying to speed up or slow down but ultimately due to the road conditions, he decided it was best to take his foot off the gas and coast.

“So much was going through my head at the time. I was checking the rearview to see if I had room to stop, you know,” he said. “I was trying to gauge can I outrun it and eventually, I told her, I said, ‘there’s nothing we can do. Just hold onto something.'”

The Goleman’s vehicle was one of several swept off the eastbound lanes of the highway and into the median by the avalanche.

“I let off my brakes and then here it comes. It just blasts us,” he said. “I just got to drive through a cloud of smoke. It can’t be that bad, right. Then, once we felt it, that’s real fear started to kick in.”

The family was caught in the second of two avalanches on Sunday, both happened between Copper Mountain and Frisco in an area known as Officer’s Gulch.

I-70 was closed down for several hours Sunday afternoon after the second slide covered the highway.

Dash cameras inside the Golemon’s truck show their vehicle being overcome by the wall of snow.

Dashcam video captured the moment the avalanche swallowed cars on I-70 (NBC)

Luckily, no one was injured.

CDOT said Monday it has been at least 30 years since an avalanche has made its way down to the highway in that area.