School administrator saves choking Riverton student in lunchroom

Posted at 9:33 PM, Dec 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 13:24:45-05

RIVERTON, Utah -- Riverton parents are hailing a school administrator a hero after he saved their choking son in the lunchroom last week.

On Monday, the parents, the teen and the school administrator spoke exclusively with FOX 13 News.

Surveillance shows the South Hills Middle School cafeteria in Riverton last week. It was a normal day in the lunchroom until ninth-grader, Payton Winn started choking.

“I thought I was going to die,” Payton said.

Payton was sitting at the lunch table surrounded by his classmates. choking student1

“My friends sitting there said I turned purple and like black. It was pretty scary,” Payton recounted after a bite of his chicken sandwich was lodged in his throat.

“I knew I was choking because I couldn't breathe and I tried to swallow it down with some milk but it didn't go down,” Payton said.

Surveillance shows the moments unfold inside the cafeteria.

“It was pretty scary and I couldn't think straight,” Payton said.

That’s when Assistant Principal, Tyler Jones, walked through the door. Payton, with his friend by his side, rushed for help.

“His friend said he was choking and for a split second I thought, ‘Are they messing with me,” I looked at Payton and saw that he was not kidding he was in distress,” Jones said.

Without hesitation Jones jumped into action.

“It’s just one of those surreal moments, you think this is really here this is really happening,” Jones said.

Jones performed the Heimlich multiple times.

“I like started to black out when I got over there so I don't really remember much of it,” Payton said.

Finally the chicken was out and Payton could breathe.

“Things work out for reasons I’m just glad I happened to walk in and be at the right place at the right time and know what to do,” Jones said.

And so are Payton’s parents.

“I'm glad it was a happy ending I’m glad Mr. Jones was there to help him,” said Paige Winn, Payton’s mother.

Especially after his parents got a glimpse of the surveillance.

“When you see it you really get the emotion of the reality of what occurred and it gets slightly emotional,” said Eric Winn, Payton’s Father.

They say Jones is a hero.

“We've got a building full of heroes honestly that take care of these kids every day,” Jones said.