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WATCH: Inflatable backpack saves snowboarder during avalanche

An inflatable backpack saved a snowboarder from disaster during an avalanche Wednesday in western Canada.

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Tom Oye posted a terrifying helmet-cam video of his brush with death in the Brandywine area of Whistler, British Columbia, on his Facebook page, where it has more than 5.6 million views and more than 45,000 shares.

Oye had received the backpack as a gift last month from friends. On his Facebook page, accompanied by a video, the Australian native said the idea behind the avalanche airbag backpack was "to make you the biggest object and tumble you to the top in a big slide, provide a little trauma protection while you’re tumbling, and then create an air pocket if you do get buried to keep you alive a little longer until you’re rescued."

"They're a serious piece of safety gear and have a price tag to match so I'm so humbled by all you who made it happen."

And lucky.

David Cote, a local snowmobile guide, was just around the corner from the avalanche and witnessed the tail end of the slide around 10 a.m. PT, according to CBCNews.

"You could just see him sort of on the surface," he told CBC. "It's hard to say exactly if he would've been buried without it, but I think he's quite lucky that he had the avalanche airbag on."

Cote, who has more than a decade of experience on the mountain, told CBC he was testing the area for avalanche risk about 10 minutes before the slide. He said it was a risky day to be on the mountain.

"Some of the results we were seeing from our tests were quite scary ... it was very reactive," he told CBC.

To all my awesome homies who pitched in to get me a surprise early birthday present while I was home, I'm sure you had absolutely no idea what the hell it was you were buying me, so here it is. It's an avalanche airbag backpack, and the idea is to make you the biggest object and tumble you to the top in a big slide, provide a little trauma protection while your tumbling, and then create an air pocket if you do get buried to keep you alive a little longer until your rescued, they're a serious piece of safety gear and have a price tag to match so I'm so humbled by all you who made it happen. An extra special thanks to Stuart Roydhouse aswell for making it happen. You can all now call me safety Steve.🤘

Posted by Tom Oye on Saturday, December 17, 2016

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  • A California man accused of killing his missing 5-year-old son laughed and attempted to joke with a Las Vegas judge Tuesday during an extradition hearing. Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, of South Pasadena, was arrested Friday and charged with murder in the presumed death of his son, Aramazd Andressian Jr., who has been missing since April. Andressian, who authorities believe was preparing to flee to a country that would not extradite him back to the U.S., is being held in lieu of a $10 million bond.  Investigators had Andressian taken into custody in Las Vegas, where he lived on and off in the two months since his son was last seen, to prevent his potential flight. Reporters from KTLA in Los Angeles were in a courtroom there on Tuesday for Andressian’s extradition hearing.  Video from the news station showed Andressian, who had recently shaved off his beard and dyed his dark hair blond, smiling and laughing with fellow inmates. During Andressian’s time before the bench, the judge asked him if he intended to fight extradition.  “No, I never came here in an attempt to flee,” Andressian said.  When the judge mentioned the California media present in the courtroom, Andressian joked that the reporters could take him back with them.  KTLA reported that Aramazd Andressian Jr., whose nickname was Piqui, was last seen leaving Disneyland with his father around 1 a.m. April 21. Andressian told authorities he took his son to the Cachuma Lake Recreation Area in Santa Barbara County later that morning. Though investigators did find evidence that Andressian was at the lake that day, there were no sightings of Piqui.   The boy’s mother, Ana Estevez, reported him missing on April 22 when Andressian failed to show up for the scheduled custody exchange of their son. The Los Angeles Times reported that Andressian was found unconscious that same day in a South Pasadena park. His gray 2004 BMW was doused in gasoline, the Times said. Authorities said Andressian had taken prescription pills in what they believe was an attempted suicide.  Though he was initially held in his son’s disappearance, he was later released due to lack of evidence. Andressian, who said he didn’t know what happened to his son, stopped cooperating and hired a lawyer, authorities said.  >> Read more trending news Investigators have said little about the circumstantial evidence against Andressian, but have said that, as Estevez, multiple law enforcement agencies and volunteers searched in vain for the boy, Andressian was instead “socializing” in Las Vegas. “He was taking part in activities and displaying mannerisms that were not consistent with a grieving parent,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza said Monday at a news conference.  Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said at the news conference that trying a murder case without a victim’s body has challenges, but that her office has prosecuted similar cases successfully in the past.  “It may seem unusual to file murder charges when we have not yet found the child’s body,” Lacey said. “But rest assured, my office has successfully prosecuted such cases before.” Investigators said they believe that Andressian killed his son in a “pre-planned event” because of an acrimonious divorce from his ex-wife. Estevez released a statement about the loss of her son, the Times reported.  “My heart is shattered, and I will miss my son immensely each and every second of every day for the rest of my life,” she said. “Piqui was everything great in my life, and I cannot imagine the emptiness and void that I will bear until we are together again someday.” A $30,000 reward is being offered for information on Piqui’s disappearance. 
  • A pregnant woman driving an SUV reportedly chased down a suspected purse thief and struck him with her vehicle in a Walmart parking lot in Asheville, North Carolina – and it was all caught on video. >> Watch the video here According to WLOS-TV, Christine Braswell, 26, confronted the man Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly grabbed her purse and other items from her SUV.  >> Body found in locked Walmart bathroom that employees assumed was out of order for days 'He was with my purse and he took off and I took off after him,' Braswell told WLOS. 'Me being five months pregnant, I chased a little ways then come back, jumped in the car, threw it in gear and come across the curb and ran him over. I was not going to let him get away with it. It's not right; it's not fair.' >> Read more trending news Police said the suspect, Robert Raines, was treated for minor injuries and faces felony charges of breaking and entering, larceny and property damage. Braswell also faces a misdemeanor charge of assault with a deadly weapon, WLOS reported. Read more here.
  • A woman choked her dog to death because she was tired of the dog biting her.  A Monroe County Sheriff's statement says 61-year-old Alice Evans told deputies on Saturday that the dog named Big John had bitten her on the hand the previous night. She was arrested Tuesday on a felony charge of cruelty to animals.   The arrest report says Evans told investigators she choked the dog with his collar and buried him in the backyard. The report says the wound on Evans hand was 'no larger than a pencil eraser.'   The deputy dug up the dog's body and took it to a veterinarian for a necropsy, which confirmed the cause of death to be strangulation.   Jail records don't list an attorney for Evans.
  • A video stunt gone wrong leaves a woman charged in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend.   Monalisa Perez, of Halstad, was charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Pedro Ruiz III.   A criminal complaint says the 19-year-old Perez told authorities Ruiz wanted to make a YouTube video of her shooting a bullet into a book he was holding against his chest. She says she fired from about a foot away.   Authorities say Ruiz died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.   The victim's aunt, Claudia Ruiz, tells WDAY-TV that the couple played pranks and put them on YouTube.   Perez was granted a public defender and released on $7,000 bail.   The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
  • A stolen car has four flat tires after a police chase.   The owner had chased after his car on foot after it was stolen near 800 South Quaker Avenue around 12:45 a.m. Thursday. Tulsa police arrived and took over. TPD Sergeant Joe Gimble tells KRMG that officers “pursued the vehicle until the vehicle crashed out over at First and Frankfort.” But the chase wasn't over. “Two occupants took off. One went east and the other one went west.” A police canine caught the driver, 32-year old Derek Jacobson, but his passenger is still at large.