GREENWICH — An afternoon of sledding by two 12-year-old boys turned tragic on Tuesday, after they became buried into a snowbank, killing one of them.
Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said authorities were contacted at about 5 p.m. when one of the boys did not return home and had not been heard from, which was unusual.
The boy had gone sledding with a friend on Rock Street. Police investigated and found that the friend was missing as well.
Local police contacted New York State Police and forest rangers to assist with the search on the street, which is near the Batten Kill.
A helicopter and canine units assisted in the search and found tracks made by the boys, but no sign of them.
There is a parking lot on Rock Street where the Greenwich Public Works Department has been dumping snow, according to Bell. Police investigated that site.
One of the state police investigators found a little piece of a sled poking out from the snow bank, according to Bell.
He said emergency personnel and police grabbed shovels and started digging with their bare hands — moving a massive amount of snow in 10 minutes.
They found one of the boys, administered CPR to him and transported him to Saratoga Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Bell said.
Then, police heard screaming coming from the other boy trapped inside the snowbank.
“The kid actually tried to force himself out,” Bell said.
He also was transported to Saratoga Hospital with hypothermia.
Bell said the second boy told police that they were playing behind the snowbank and heard a truck coming in the distance.
“The next thing he remembers, it went dark,” he said.
The investigation is still underway, but Bell said it appears to be an accident. The driver of the truck did not know the boys were there.
“It’s kids playing. It’s a real tragedy for the family. Our hearts go out to the family,” he said.
The names of the boys have not been released. Counseling will be made available at Greenwich Central School, according to Bell.
It was an emotional night.
“I watched grown men cry when they unearthed these kids tonight,” he said.