Boy buried in sudden collapse of snow tunnel

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A 12-year-old Sherburne County boy got the scare of his life when a snow tunnel in his family's front yard collapsed on him, burying him in the snow.

KSTP reports that Steven Morse was in the fort on Tuesday evening, near the driveway of the family's home in Baldwin Township. Bradley Morse told the station that his son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, at times is unresponsive. That is what Bradley Morse thought was happening when his son, while in the fort, went quiet.

But then he noticed his son was silent because he was buried in two feet of snow.

"I tried wiggling my way out but I couldn't," the boy said, explaining that he was able to turn his body. "I just tried moving, getting more air in there."

Weakened by warmer temperatures, the snow fort collapsed on the boy, covering him from his hips to his head. FOX 9 reported that Bradley Morse and another son began digging.

"I was scared for my life," he admitted.

The boy's mother called emergency crews, and by the time they arrived, Steven had been pulled free, but he had been buried for about an hour. Emergency responders were able to clear the snow from Steven's mouth, but the boy remained unresponsive; he was described as soaking wet and cold to the touch. He was flown to North Memorial Medical Center. The boy woke up in the emergency room. "I don't remember a thing. It's just blank,” he said.

Doctors say Morse's instinct to stay calm and turn to his side to get the weight of the snow off of his chest helped him stay alive. Now Steven Morse is warning other children about the dangers of a snow tunnel. "Don't make a roof," he urged. "That's only causing a hazard that is big and most likely horrible for you because it can collapse in and it's dangerous."

"It can be one minute that everything is going good as far as playing inside, digging that tunnel," Lakeville Fire Chief Mike Meyer said. "Next thing you know, that thing can be on top just like that."

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