DUNMORE –The 18 month old who fell into a sewer drain in Lackawanna County Saturday night is now listed in stable condition at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.
Caution tape still blocks the sewer drain where the apparent accident happened. It has shaken the child’s family and parents throughout the area.
“I was in shock actually. I had no idea that the drain system was exposed like that,” said Kathleen Nazar of Dunmore.
Nazar was in Dunmore buying groceries and diapers before stopping by to see her own grandchild, and says this incident has upset her.
“As a grandmother, as a mother, all these things go through your head. It could have been us. It could have been anybody. It’s a scary thing,” said Nazar.
“I could not imagine being without any of my grandchildren if anything like this would happen I would be frantic,” said Rosanne Jayne of Archbald.
Dunmore police said the boyfriend of the boy’s mother was putting two children in the car Saturday night when the baby fell backwards into the drain hole.
The boyfriend frantically worked to rescue the toddler himself before emergency crews did. The Dunmore police chief said for now, they believe it was all an accident.
“Right now that’s what it appears to be, but again that’s something that we’re still asking some questions about,” said Chief Patrick Reese.
No charges have been filed, and police said they’ve noticed drains like this are very common throughout the Greenridge area.
This storm drain on the corner of Greenridge Street and Clay Ave. was just recently replaced. Police say this opening is eight inches wide and they could see how this is a problem.
“The only time I’ve ever looked at a storm drain is when storms arise to make sure they’re not blocked or anything obstructing them in any way. Now we’re starting to look at them a little differently,” said Chief Reese.
As Michelle Statdtfeld of Jermyn loaded up three-month-old Landon into the car in Dunmore, she said it’s sad this incident had to happen before these drains were given a closer look.
“It’s very scary. They should have never been opened, to begin with. I mean, heaven forbid another child, or they run off, or they fall, or they trip. No matter how it happened it shouldn’t have happened, at all,” said Stadtfeld.
The Scranton Sewer Authority released a statement late Tuesday saying they will be cooperating fully with the investigation, but there aren’t any immediate plans to change these storm drains.
Police said they will be questioning the mother’s boyfriend again, hoping to confirm that this incident was indeed just an accident.