A 3-year-old boy died after falling into a grease trap outside a Tim Hortons fast food chain in Rochester, New York.
According to police, the boy was reported missing just before 11 a.m. Monday. Minutes later, his body was located in the grease trap, which was embedded in the ground and covered with a plastic lid. Witnesses removed the boy from the trap and administered CPR until emergency medical technicians arrived, but the child could not be revived. He was pronounced dead at Strong Memorial Hospital.
The toddler was not identified, and police would not say whether he was related to a restaurant employee or customer.
Grease traps are typically steel tanks buried in the ground for storing fats, oils and grease separate from the sewer system. But they have proven deadly before. This tragic death brings to mind another similar situation that occurred close to Beasley Allen’s headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, two years ago.
In October 2017, Sadie Grace Andrews was playing with siblings in a grassy area outside Bruster’s Real Ice Cream in Auburn, Alabama, when she fell into the restaurant’s grease trap and drowned.
Sadie’s parents vowed to protect other young children in Alabama from being harmed by grease traps. Months after her death, Sen. Tom Whatley, who represents Auburn, proposed legislation requiring grease trap covers to include locking mechanisms, such as a bolt or lock, and to be strong enough to withstand the weight of a vehicle without opening accidentally. The Sadie Grace Andrews Law was signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey in April 2018, and went into effect June 1, 2018.
The Alabama Department of Public Health is charged with implementing the new rules for compliance. Health inspectors are now required to check to ensure establishments meet the requirements as part of their routine inspections. Businesses that do not comply face a $100 per day fine.
Spectrum News – It’s Not the First Time a Child Has Died After Falling in a Grease Trap
Montgomery Advertiser – After daughter’s death, Alabama family fights to take grease trap safety bill nationwide
WHAM13 News – ‘It grieves me deeply there’s another mom who lost a three-year-old’
WRBL – Sadie’s Act: Auburn family pushes for grease trap safety after another child’s death
Democrat & Chronicle – 3-year-old boy dead after falling into grease trap at Tim Hortons on University Avenue
People.com – 3-Year-Old Dies After Falling Into Grease Tank at New York Restaurant in ‘Horrifying Episode’
Syracuse.com – 3-year-old boy dies in grease trap at Tim Hortons in Upstate NY
RochesterFirst.com – Questions about grease traps arise following death of 3-year-old
Fox6Now – ‘Horrifying episode:’ 3-year-old died after falling into grease trap at Tim Hortons restaurant