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3-Year-Old Girl Drowns In Ice Cream Shop Grease Pit

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A 3-year-old girl died after she fell into a 6-foot-deep grease pit outside an ice cream shop in Auburn, Alabama. 

Sadie Andrews drowned in the pit outside of Bruster's Ice Cream shop in Auburn on Oct. 14, according to WRBL. 

"Her name means 'God's thoughtful princess,'" Corrie Andrews, Sadie's mother, told "And she really was that -- always expressing gratefulness and love for God and other people. She would light up a room with her smile; she walked with a skip in her step. I've never met a more joyful child who loved God with all her heart."

Sadie fell through the pit during a family trip to Bruster's Ice Cream. Surveillance video showed her playing with two of her siblings near the grease pit, according to

That video reportedly shows Sadie stepping on the lid of the grease trap and falling through before the lid closed above her. The lid did not seem to be locked or secured.

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Sadie was reported missing, but by the time police arrived, she had already been found unresponsive in the pit. She was trapped for five to 10 minutes, according to WRBL.

CPR was performed at the scene before she was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

"I'm just so thankful for the three years we had with her," Tracy Andrews, Sadie's father, told "She taught me about being happy and loving life and loving people. At 3 years old, there's no preconceived notions. To her, everybody was good. She didn't see the bad. She just loved people and it didn't matter what they did."

The owners of the Bruster's Ice Cream shop, Lance and Kara Latham, posted a statement on Facebook saying the Andrews were regular customers and the store management is "truly heartbroken." 

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"The entire Bruster's family is horribly saddened by this tragic accident," the owners said in the statement. "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."

Police do not suspect foul play and are treating the child's death as an accident.

Sadie's uncle, Chad Vermillion, has started a crowdfunding page to raise money for Sadie's funeral expenses. It raised more than $13,000 within two days.

"A mother and dad should never have to bury their child," Vermillion told "Make every moment special with your children -- every one. Let them know how much you love them and how much they mean to you." 

Sources:, WRBL / Featured Image: Elvert Barnes/Flickr / Embedded Images: Andrews family via (2)

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