GREENWICH, New York — A 12-year-old boy was killed and another miraculously survived after being buried alive in a freak accident when a giant snow pile they were playing on collapsed on them.
The two 12-year-old boys, Joshua Demarest and Tyler Day, had been digging tunnels and building snow forts on Tuesday on the pile which was made up of snow collected off of municipal streets and dumped in a lot.
Day, who survived, told investigators that he heard a snow removal truck arrive in the lot and begin dumping another load and then everything went dark. The road crew had worked on the other side of the pile and did not notice the boys.
When the boys did not arrive home that evening, authorities were alerted and footsteps led them to the pile where they spotted a partly buried sled sticking out of the snow. That led to a frantic effort to dig for the boys.
“They moved an enormous amount of snow,” Greenwich-Cambridge Police Chief George Bell said, according to the Albany Times Union. “By hand, shovel, snow rake … to recover those boys.”
He estimated that crews moved up to seven tons of snow before locating Demarest, who was in poor shape. He was rushed to a hospital in Saratoga Springs but died. Rescuers located Day shortly after, who was able to speak to officers. He was hospitalized overnight and sent home the following day.
Bell said Day explained that he and Demarest didn’t worry when the heavy machinery pulled into the lot, but kept playing and dug further into the pile.
“This is a true tragedy. It’s an accident,” Bell said.