A 12-year-old boy building a snow fort in Upstate New York died after he was trapped in a snow bank, and authorities are trying to determine whether road crews unwittingly dumped hundreds of pounds of snow on him.
Police have not released the name of the boy who was killed or another boy who diggers found alive and unharmed in Greenwich, N.Y., about 40 miles northeast of Albany.
The boys were playing in a private lot where Department of Public Works trucks dump snow collected during the day, according to the Times Union, an Albany newspaper.
The surviving boy, who was responsive and talking, told his rescuers he heard the backup alarm of a truck, then everything went dark, the newspaper reported. The incident remains under investigation.
Someone reported the boys missing about 5 p.m. A search dog found their sled, and first-responders launched a frantic effort to uncover the boys.
“There was probably a dozen-and-a-half men with shovels and bare hand digging, and I think they moved — with no exaggeration — seven tons of hard packed snow in about 10 minutes time,” Greenwich-Cambridge Police Chief George Bell told Albany, N.Y., ABC affiliate WTEN.
The unconscious boy was found first, but paramedics couldn’t resuscitate him at the scene, according to the New York Daily News. He was taken to Saratoga Hospital, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at 10 p.m.
Earlier this week, a snowstorm that swept into the northeast dumped a foot of snow in parts of the Great Lakes and upper Midwest and left half a foot across New York and northern New England, according to the Associated Press.
Greenwich got snow on Monday and Tuesday, according to The Weather Channel.
The boy’s death was reminiscent of the death of 56-year-old David Perrotto on a snowy January weekend in eastern Pennsylvania.
Perrotto was trying to dig out his car — or possibly taking a break from the exertion or the cold — when a snowplow came by, burying the running car and blocking the exhaust pipe, police told Philadelphia NBC-affiliate WCAU.
Another person digging out a vehicle found the running car with an unresponsive Perrotto inside.