A preliminary investigation by Auburn Police Division determined that Sadie Grace Andrews, age 3, died as a result of falling into a grease trap in a grassy area near the restaurant drive-through on Saturday, October 14. Officers responded at about 12:45 p.m. and arrived as CPR was being performed on the child. APD Officers continued CPR efforts until paramedics arrived and transported her to EAMC, where she was pronounced deceased at 1:28 p.m.
Police say around 1:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon officers got a call of a child missing near the ice cream shop. Minutes later the child was found in a container of liquid near the store off of East University Drive.
Coroner Bill Harris says the girl was playing with her siblings behind the Bruster’s Ice Cream shop on East University Drive when she fell into a grease trap around 1 p.m. Harris says video surveillance shows the toddler falling through the cover to the six-foot-deep in-ground container.
The video also shows the girl was stuck in the pit for around five to 10 minutes until she was found unresponsive. CPR was performed on the scene before the girl was rushed to East Alabama Medical Center. Harris says she was pronounced dead around 1:30 p.m.
The case has so far been ruled an accidental drowning and no foul play is suspected.
The coroner asks the community to please keep this family in your prayers as they suffer through this tragedy.
The site of the incident has been secured until the property owner can take additional action.
The City of Auburn encourages the Auburn community to respect the family’s need for privacy at this difficult time, even as we join with them in mourning this tragic loss.”
Jim Sahene, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream CEO sent out the following statement regarding Sunday’s incident at the Auburn Bruster’s.
“On behalf of the entire Bruster’s Real Ice Cream family, our sincerest sympathies go to the Andrews family, their friends and all of those touched by this horrible accident. We cannot imagine the grief the family is going through. When the time is right, we will reach out to the family to personally offer our condolences and assistance. Our thoughts and prayers also are with the owners of the Auburn shop and their employees.
In Bruster’s 28 years, nothing like this has ever happened. A thorough investigation is underway to determine how this tragedy occurred. As a precaution, we have asked all of our franchisees to conduct an additional inspection of their grease traps to make sure they are safe.
As a father and grandfather myself, I cannot imagine the grief the family is going through. We can only hope that they find some comfort in the outpouring of support we have seen since this tragedy happened.”
A crowdfunding site dedicated to Sadie’s funeral expenses has so far managed to raise close to $9,000.