Steamboat Springs A 3-year-old boy who was buried beneath 3 feet of snow for several minutes last week is doing fine, his father said Monday.
"Everything is going great," said Travis Jones, director of admissions at The Lowell Whiteman School. "All things considered, it's kind of a miracle."
Jones' son, Sebastian Radl-Jones, was buried for four to eight minutes under a large pile of heavy, wet snow that slid off the slanted metal roof of a two-story building on the Lowell Whiteman campus Feb. 27. Sebastian, known as "Sebi" to family and friends, was returning from a sledding trip with his mother, Ivana Radlova, when the slide occurred in sunny, warm weather just past noon.
Radlova, school staff and students dug Sebastian out of the snow before the arrival of a Routt County Search and Rescue team.
Jones said Monday that his wife -- who was carrying their 6-month-old son, Mathias, on her back at the time of the slide -- was in "total terror" while digging out Sebastian and screaming for help.
"The weight of the snow that hit him was huge," Jones said. "(Radlova) wouldn't allow herself to think it, but she couldn't see how he could have survived the way the snow fell on him."
Ken Klinger, a Routt County Sheriff's Office investigator who inspected the scene, said the slab-like shape of the snow likely provided air pockets that allowed Sebastian to breathe.
Sebastian was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center after the incident.
"They did the whole battery -- CAT scans, X-rays, everything," Jones said by phone from Michigan, where he is helping coach national Junior Olympics cross-country ski races this week.
Sebastian received five stitches and had a fat lip and lingering memories.
"He's certainly a little scared of snow falling again," Jones said. The other day, he added, the family was on a walk when their dog ran under the roof of the same building. Sebastian immediately began yelling.
"He flipped," Jones said. "He was really, really scared our dog was going to get buried."
Jones said he and Radlova will try to keep playing with Sebastian in the snow to change the bad memories to good.
"More than anything we just feel incredibly lucky," Jones said, asking local families to be mindful of snow on their roofs. "A million different things could have happened."