Niagara County Sheriff
March 16, 2017 07:38 PM

A ten-year-old Pendleton, New York boy died Wednesday after becoming trapped in a pile of snow as he was helping his relatives plow snow at a family farm.

Benjamin Wasik, who was in the fourth-grade, is thought to have climbed on top of a 15-foot snowbank and later became trapped, according to Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies, WGRZ reports.

His family located him after about 20 minutes, then began performing CPR and called 911, the Buffalo News reports. Benjamin was pronounced dead at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, according to the newspaper.

The Starpoint School District, where Benjamin attended, sent a message to parents alerting them of the news on Thursday. Crisis counseling is being made available to his classmates and stress debriefings were scheduled for the first responders who tried to save his life, according to the Niagara Gazette.

Sheriff James Voutour spoke to WGRZ, saying the loss was “tragic.”

“This is so out of the ordinary,” Voutour said. “There’s no way you could have predicted it.”

“The deputies are hurting, the fire company is hurting — I’ve been speaking with their chief, and Twin City Ambulance — no one wants to see a kid die. Nobody should have to bury their child. They’re hurting. But they’re not hurting like the Wasiks are,” Voutour said.

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