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Mattawan family survives Colo. avalanche
MATTAWAN, MI – It was a Colorado ski trip a Mattawan family will never forget. Marty Hodges and his sons Justin and Jordan were skiing in the Arapahoe Basin west of Denver on Saturday when an avalanche hit.
Monday they were back home in Mattawan and described to Newschannel Three what happened.
Marty Hodges says they were just a few minutes into their ski trip when it happened, a wall of snow coming down on the three of them.
"As I went down the hill I thought about life ending, how claustrophobic I was, then I felt the whole thing come to a stop," says Marty Hodges.
"I remember when it stopped just being happy I was alive and quickly brushing the snow off and quickly looking around for other people that might be buried," says Justin Hodges.
And everyone in their ski group of 14 people was buried. The snow pushed Marty 1000 feet down the mountain.
"I moved the snow a little and I could see sunlight and I started to dig. It wasn't terribly deep, two feet under and I moved the snow away and began to dig out and my next goal was to find these guys," says Marty Hodges.
"My brother was a little farther up the hill, my father was a lot farther down, he was just a little spec he rolled so far," says Jordan Hodges.
Out of the whole ski group Marty was the worst injured, with a strained knee and he still has a sore throat from swallowing so much snow. But even with all that and surviving an avalanche they are already planning the next ski trip.
"Oh yeah, we're going to go out again, it's fun to be with these guys, they're my best friends," says Jordan.