Mini avalanche buries car in Big Cottonwood Canyon, good Samaritans come to the rescue

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Courtesy: Mitchell Huang

Courtesy: Mitchell Huang

SOLITUDE, Utah (ABC4) – A video captured on Tuesday morning shows a car after it had become nearly buried in a mini avalanche on SR-190.

It happened just a few miles south of Solitude Mountain Resort. A long line of cars formed along SR-190 as snow continued to pile on Tuesday morning.

Although the Avalanche Center has issued an “extreme danger” avalanche warning, that didn’t stop people from traveling.

Mitchell Huang was one of those people. He was traveling on SR-190 around 8:50 a.m. when he witnessed the mini avalanche.

“We were about 4 cars back when we saw a big snowplow on the left and the rumbling from the plow set the avalanche off,” Huang tells ABC4.

The mini avalanche covered the road along SR-190 burying a car in front of him.

“We were about 4 cars back, saw a plume of snow drop in front of us. Once the dust settled, we saw the car in the video buried in snow,” Huang said.

Courtesy: Mitchell Huang

He got out of his car and took this video of the scene after the car in front of him became covered in snow.

Some people in the long line of cars along SR-190 sprang into action and immediately began to help dig the car out.

“There were about 15-20 or so people outside their cars during the digging and helping dig and figure out what’s going on,” Huang tells ABC4.

After about 15 to 20 minutes of the good Samaritans helping dig the car out, police officers arrived on the scene and the right side of the road was cleared for traffic to begin moving again.

“People started getting out of their cars with shovels cause there are no days off when you’re chasing the pow,” Huang added.

According to ABC4 Chief Meteorologist Alana Brophy, Utah is certainly not done with this snowfall, saying that the dangers of avalanches are only going to increase.

“Avalanche danger skyrockets to the extreme category overnight as a NW flow allowed for a tremendous amount of accumulation in our mountains. Some of our resorts picked up over a foot and a half in 12 hours,” Brophy explains.

“We’ve got heavy, wet snow piling up and it’s all on top of a very unstable base. 
We have picked up an amazing amount of snow in a relatively short time, and it’s just not safe to be in the backcountry,” Brophy added.

“More snow is on the way through Wednesday, so we are not out of the woods when it comes to dangerous slides.”

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