Hinsdale County sheriff, daughters out of hospital after avalanche destroys home

HINSDALE COUNTY, Colo. -- Hinsdale County Sheriff Justin Casey and his daughters have been released from the hospital after all three were injured in an avalanche that destroyed their home Tuesday.

“They told me Justin's house had been hit by an avalanche and he couldn’t find his daughters," Hinsdale County Undersheriff Chris Kambish said. He rushed to the scene after getting the news.

“It had totally destroyed his house. There was nothing left," Kambish said.

The sheriff was able to pull himself out and find one of his daughters before help arrived, but there was still another daughter missing.

“The sound of his voice and the look on his face is kind of burned there forever," Kambish said.

Multiple EMS personnel sifted through the debris, yelling and screaming. Finally, someone heard a voice through the snow.

“We were both kind of standing right on top of her and we didn’t know it," Kambish said. “I’ve said to a couple people since then, 'If you don’t believe in God or miracles at this point, I don’t think you’re ever going to.' The fact that all three of them were found and found alive, there’s no other way to explain it, in my opinion."

The community is now rallying around the Casey family. A GoFundMe page has been established and deposits into Justin Casey's account are being accepted at any Community Banks of Colorado.

“That one just happened to be one of many avalanches," County Commissioner Kristine Borchers said.

As the Caseys recover, Lake City and Hinsdale County are still under high alert.

“We continue to have avalanches," Borchers said.

The sheriff and his daughters are currently asking for privacy. People have described Casey as thoughtful and wise. They say he loves his family and wants the best for his daughters.

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