A Washington family survived an avalanche that blew out the windshield and pushed their SUV across a mountain pass road and into a retaining wall, then left them looking for a man who left behind his coat when he stopped to help.
Randall and Roxanna Parker and their two young daughters were driving home Wednesday on Interstate 90 from Seattle over Snoqualmie Pass when a snow slide slammed into their Nissan Pathfinder. It smashed the windshield, covered them in ice and glass, and pushed the vehicle about 50 yards into a retaining wall.
The parents suffered cuts on their hands, face and neck. Roxanna Parker, who goes by Tana, also has bruises on her chest and neck, and is still in pain. But 7-year-old Nicole and 3-year-old Arianna weren't hurt at all.
"We're not religious people, but God must have just said, `It's not your time to go,'" Randall Parker told the Tri-City Herald. "I don't know how we survived it."
Two men ran through the snow and started helping the family.
One said he was medically trained and provided first aid to Tana Parker. She was having a hard time breathing and was covered in snow. There was even snow between her body and the car seat. The man took off his coat, covered her and tried to keep her warm as they waited for an ambulance from Cle Elum.
"The guy who was behind us, he was like an angel, really," Tana Parker said. "I was all wet and shivering. I never felt so cold in my life."
Randall Parker, who goes by Kent, said he had to dig himself out, shove his door open and make sure both girls were safe.
"I just remember seeing it coming and I just remember the noise of something heavy," he said. "The snow was like a log _ very heavy, very wet. ... It pounded us."
Kent Parker said he tightened his grip on the steering wheel and slammed on the brakes. He said he must have closed his eyes as the impact knocked off his glasses, which he never found.
The family's Pathfinder slid sideways, then smashed into the concrete retaining wall, moving it about 3 feet, he said.
The whole family rode in the ambulance to the hospital and stayed there until Tana Parker was released that evening.
She thanked the people who saw the avalanche and ran to help, and would like to return the coat belonging to one of the men _ after washing it.
Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com