Survivor Describes Harrowing Landslide Moment
Oso landslide survivor Amanda Skorjanc spoke from her hospital bed at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Wednesday. She and her 5-month-old baby Duke Suddarth are among the few who survived the landslide.
As Skorjanc’s partner Ty Suddarth sits next to her, she describes that moment when the landslide hit.
It carried her and her son 600 feet from where their home once stood.
Transcript: Amanda Skorjanc Recalls March 22 Oso Mudslide
Ty had just given us a big family hug and he was going into Darrington to the hardware store.
Duke and I were watching YouTube videos in our kitchen and I heard what sounded like a truck off a rumble strip and then it continued and I thought, ‘Oh maybe it’s an earthquake,’ and the lights started to blink and then I looked out our side door and I didn’t see anything.
And then I looked out our front door and it was like a movie. Houses were exploding and the next thing I remember, well the next thing I see, is our neighbor’s chimney coming into our front door and I turned and I held Duke and I did not let him go.
It was super fast, but it felt like forever. But when we finally stopped moving, I noticed that the couch had been broken around us and then our La-Z-Boy had been broken around us, so we were in this little cushioned pocket.
There was a pillow by us and I found a hole and I tried to get [Duke out] – I figured if I put the pillow outside this hole and put Duke on it and that if I didn’t make it, they would find him. But I couldn’t move him because my arm was too broke to move it, so I just sat there with him and waited.
And then I started to hear sirens. Oh my god, the most amazing sound I’ve ever heard.
Skorjanc said five or six men helped her get out. They used two chainsaws to cut into the couch and the chair.
She said now that her legs, face and arm is healing, the emotional pain is worse than the physical. She and Ty Suddarth plan to take a trip soon to personally thank some of the rescuers.