Companion Also Caught as They Play in Pit, but Extricates Herself
Rescuers Dig for 7 Feet –
Victim Found Suffocated With Her Skull Gashed From Front to Back
(Maspeth, NY • New York Times September 3, 1923) Two little girls were buried beneath two tons of sand at Fresh Pond Road and Pacific Street, Maspeth, Queens, yesterday. One was crushed to death and one escaped. The dead girl was Jessie Davis, 10 years old, of 2536 Baltic Street, Maspeth; the other is Anna Donnelly, 9 years old, of 2575 Baltic Street, Maspeth.
Both girls it was learned by the police went to the sand pit where the accident occurred, to play, as was their daily habit. When the sand came down the Davis girl was standing near where the sand rose in a wall about twenty-five feet high. The Donnelly girl was further away.
Without warning the whole wall of sand came down on top of the two girls. The Davis girl, having been nearest the wall, was completely buried. The Donnelly girl was also completely covered but managed to wriggle her head free and gradually extricate the rest of her body.
Her first thought, she said later, was for Jessie. She looked about and skirted the edge of the mound without finding her playmate. Then she ran screaming to her home on Baltic Street where she told her story to several men.
Some of them got shovels, while others rushed to the scene to dig with their hands. A telephone call was sent for Fire Truck 291, on Metropolitan Avenue, Maspeth. Before the arrival of the apparatus, however, the men, with the assistance of Patrolman John Flynn of the Elmhurst precinct, brought out the body of the Davis girl after digging twenty minutes. She had been buried under more than seven feet of sand.
A hasty examination showed the skull had been gashed, presumably by a stone from front to back. The child’s back was broken. She was placed in an automobile and taken to the Wyckoff Heights Hospital. Surgeons there said she had died of her injuries and suffocation.
The Donnelly girl was attended at her home by an ambulance surgeon for cuts and bruises and was put to bed. She will recover.