Deadly Mudslide

Mother Who Survived Washington Mudslide Describes Harrowing Ordeal

A young woman pulled from the wreckage of the deadly Washington state mudslide along with her infant son recounted the harrowing ordeal for the first time Wednesday from her Seattle hospital room.

Amanda Skorjanc, 25, is recovering from severe injuries at Harborview Medical Center, where she described for reporters the utter horror of the monstrous March 22 deluge, which killed 36.

She said she was watching YouTube videos with her son, Duke Suddarth, in the kitchen of their home when she first heard a terrifying sound "like a truck off a rumble strip" as the lights began to shake and blink.

"It was like a movie," Skorjanc said from her hospital bed as she broke down in tears. "Houses were exploding. And the next thing I see is our neighbor's chimney coming into our front door."

Skorjanc soon found herself pinned under tons of mud and debris, her legs and arms broken, clutching her son for dear life.

"I held onto that baby like that was the only purpose that I had," Skorjanc said.

She said she prayed for survival.

"I can't move and I can't scream loud enough for help. We live in Oso. It would take a while for people to come... I was conscious the whole time. I felt and heard and saw everything going on."


Skorjanc and her 5-month-old son were saved after a rescuer cut through the layers of wreckage with a chainsaw.

Her injuries include a fracture of her left eye socket, two broken bones in her left arm, two broken bones in her right leg and severe crushing to her left ankle. She has had six surgeries to repair the damage, the hospital said.

Duke is at Seattle Children's Hospital in satisfactory condition. Skorjanc and Duke's father, Ty, said they did not want to elaborate on their son's injuries, although they added he was a "strong" child.

Skorjanc told reporters she is grateful for the "amount of love and support we get every day," but she is deeply scarred by the horrific experience.

"Oso is home, but I'll never go back. I'll never visit. I can't."