Orion Fenstra, a 2-year-old-boy, was killed on Monday morning around 10am when he fell into an uncovered septic well when his family was visiting another family in the 20000 block of Sanchez lane in Burlington in Skagit County reports Fox News.
According to a report on Fox News, little Orion wandered off as the two families were visiting. Officers from the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call shortly after Orion was reported missing.
Sheriff deputies found Orion in the septic well. It was covered at the time they made their search but they learned that it had been uncovered earlier.
Efforts to resuscitate Orion were not successful.
Just last month, a five year old boy, Noah Thomas, was found in a septic tank in Dublin, Virginia. His death is being treated as suspicious. Read more on ABC news here.
Accidental Falls into Septic Wells
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Orion Fenstra tonight as they grieve the loss of their young son. While investigators will sort out what exactly happened, it appears that Orion’s death was not intentional but may have been caused by negligence on the part of the property owner or the company that may have been working on the septic tank prior to the accident.
While doing some research, The Farber Law Group found that accidents involving fatalities to children when they fall into septic tanks or wells occur far too frequently. It is estimated that there are approximately 50 deaths and many more injuries due to fall into wells and septic tanks every year.
Some times people are injured when septic tank covers are too light and can be moved by children and sometimes the covers are damaged or fragile so that a person who steps on them can fall through.
Septic tanks should never be left open or unattended at any time for any reason because a person or small child could fall in and drown. Septic tanks no longer in use should be decommissioned and filled in.
Septic tanks are a type of sewage facility and approximately 25% of the properties in the U.S. relies on septic tanks for their sewage, mostly in small towns and rural areas.
Because of the high risk of injury or death, the Washington Administrative Code provides for certain design and construction requirements for on-site sewage system tanks to prevent fall accidents as well as problems with methane gas. Unfortunately, safety precautions are not always followed by installers or manufacturers or the septic tanks and their covers are not properly maintained or secured.
Property owners as well as installers and maintenance personnel must maintain septic tank safety. Because septic tanks are a well-known hazard, homeowners or renters must check to make sure that a septic tank does not pose a hazard to anyone who inadvertently steps on a septic tank cover and that no tank is uncovered so that a person can fall into it.
Just last year, we read this article about a 4-year-old child who inadvertently stepped on a septic tank lid, popping the lid up and she fell in. The lid then popped back into place. Fortunately, her family was nearby and was able to rescue her. Read more here.
Unfortunately, these preventable tragedies do occur because of many older tanks are not maintained or decommissioned.
Washington Premise Liability Attorney
If your loved one or child has been injured or killed after a similar tragedy you are advised to contact Herbert Farber, an experienced premise liability lawyer at 1-800-244-9087. Mr. Farber has more than 30 years experience representing families with their wrongful death cases. Call today for a free and confidential consultation.