Man who lost entire family in Oso slide speaks for first time

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING5 News

khou.com

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Matt Pszonka can only now talk about it, that awful day in March.

"I got a text message from my sister, if she got a text from Katie, because she heard on the news there was a slide..." says Pszonka, who lives in Arlington.  His sister Katie lived on Steelhead Drive in Oso.

On Sunday, "I went to Catholic Church that day, and prayed for the first time in 20 years."

A day later, he tried to get to his sister's home.  "Once we got to the site, the overall magnitude of what we saw, I couldn't believe what I saw, and that's when I knew my sister, my whole family, was gone."

Katie Ruthven, her husband Shane Ruthven, their sons Hunter and Wyatt, and Shane's parents Judee and Lou Vandenberg, all lost their lives that day.  They had all been home, on the Stillaguamish River, when the hillside gave way.

The family has now filed a claim for damage, and accuse the State and County of not properly warning Oso families of the damage above.  

"We knew nothing, we knew absolutely nothing," says Matt.

He now has a tattoo on his left forearm, to serve as a constant reminder of that day, and what's been lost.

"It's like losing a leg.  We lost a leg of our family, and we'll never get this back. This is something that will eat at us every holidays, every summer."

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