'I think I was dead' - Montreal boy survives snow burialCTV.ca News Staff
A Montreal-area boy survived a harrowing experience this week, after he spent hours buried in a snowbank after a snow-clearing front-end loader dumped more than a metre of snow on him.
A front-end loader was clearing snow near the school and the operator didn't see the playing boy on the other side of a snowbank and proceeded to dump a large scoop-full of snow on him.
"The tractor (went) around the back, I stayed here," the youngster told CTV Montreal, pointing at the snowbank, "and poof, I fall."
He was instantly buried. And, even though his disappearance was noted right away, he could not be found.
"I think I was dead," Prescott said Wednesday, playing around in the same snowbank that nearly took his life days earlier.
He said he tried to think good thoughts at the bottom of that pile, unable to move.
"I was thinking of the birthday of my mum," he said.
Police, area residents and the boy's family mounted a frantic three-hour search until he was eventually saved by a neighbour.
The mother, Stephanie Prescott, thought the boy might have been kidnapped and went door-to-door looking for him. Eventually, a neighbour mentioned the snowplow, and they started digging near the school.
At first, they just struck ice, and Stephanie Prescott went to look elsewhere.
But a neighbour, Barry Haigh, had a gut feeling and kept digging alongside his brother, eventually finding the boy's boot.
"My brother came across his boot and we start moving away the snow . . . and then the little boy kept saying ‘I'm here, I'm here,' in a weak voice," Haigh told CTV Montreal. "Then my brother pulled him out."
The young boy was taken to hospital and released a few hours later. Remarkably, he is in excellent condition now, without a scratch on him.
"He was white, and maybe a bit blue, but after 30 minutes in the hospital, he was OK," Stephanie Prescott said.
His hat, the young boy said, protected his face from the elements.
The tractor operator was in a "state of shock" Wednesday and was clearly upset by the near-tragic events.
"I always say to myself, ‘I should have seen him,'" Rene Huberdeau said. "I should have seen him, but there I couldn't see."
Police called the incident an accident.
The owner of the snowclearing company said he was going to recommend to school boards that schools lock up their playgrounds during snow removal operations.