Girl, 3, accidentally drowns in grease trap outside ice cream shop
A little girl died tragically over the weekend outside an Alabama ice cream shop when she drowned in a grease trap.
Sadie Grace Andrews died Saturday while playing with her siblings near Bruster's Real Ice Cream in Auburn.
"With a very heavy heart I want to tell you that my most precious niece Sadie Grace unexpectedly went to be with Jesus today," the 3-year-old's uncle wrote in a YouCaring post created to help cover her funeral expenses.
The grease trap is built six feet down into the ground and near a grassy area with picnic tables where children often play, according to AL.com.
Lee County Coroner Bill Harris reportedly said Sadie stepped onto the lid of the grease trap, which apparently wasn't locked or secured, and fell in.
After the door closed on top of her, no one could find her.
Officers arrived after Sadie was found and CPR was performed. She was taken to a hospital, where efforts to revive her were unsuccessful, police said.
Click through photos of Sadie Grace Andrews and her family:
Lance and Kara Latham, owners of the Bruster's location where the tragedy occurred, released the following statement to Facebook on Sunday:
"As the owner of the Auburn Bruster’s, our deepest condolences go to the family of the child who tragically died Saturday. They are acquaintances of ours and have been regular customers. We are truly heartbroken that this happened. Our thoughts also are with our young crewmember who tried to revive the child.
"Like all of us, he is quite shaken. The entire Bruster’s family is horribly saddened by this tragic accident. We continue to help local authorities investigate what caused this incredibly sad accident. We hope everyone in the community also will keep the family in their thoughts and prayers."
Sadie leaves behind her mother and father, as well as five siblings: Sabrina, 7; Piper, 6; Cason, 4; and twins Ryder and Judson, who will be 2 in November.
Her uncle, Chad Vermillion, hopes the YouCaring fundraiser will be enough to at least take the cost of the funeral out of the equation for Sadie's heartbroken parents.
"I know funeral costs will be exorbitant and the family is under a tremendous amount of grief right now. If you find it in your hearts would you consider donating whatever you feel led? The body of Christ is powerful when we act together and if we can help alleviate their burden let's do so," Vermillion wrote.