Brooks second-grader rescued from well

by W. Winston Skinner

A Brooks Elementary School student sustained minor injuries after falling into a well at her grandparents’ home in Whitesburg.

Megan Winters, 7, spent more than an hour underground after she fell into the old well at her grandparents’ property on Ivey Road in Whitesburg Monday afternoon. Winters is a second grader at Brooks in north Coweta County.

Carroll County Fire and Rescue led the rescue. According to The Times-Georgian, the girl fell down the shaft of the narrow well about 2:45 p.m. and was in the well until about 4 p.m.

Carroll County Fire Chief Scott Blue told the Carroll County newspaper that it is impossible to fall that far and not have some injury. "We were able to tell from the top of the well that the girl was conscious and alert throughout the whole rescue," Blue said. "We sent one of our firefighters down the well to check on her better while we set up a rope-rescue system to lift them both out."

A system of ropes and pulleys anchored to trees in the area was used to remove the girl and the firefighter, Lt. Clay Kierbow, from the well. Winters was “immediately placed on a stretcher and into an ambulance, her face bloodied and her eyes black and blue,” according to The Times-Georgian. “More than a dozen men and women — including a couple of Winters' family members — pulled on ropes to lift the girl and the fireman out.”

Winters apparently fell through an egg crate foam mattress pad that was atop the dry well. Jean McCollum, her grandmother, told The Times-Georgian she thought the family had blocked off the well with a mesh of reinforcing bars.

Another grandchild came into the house and told McCollum that Winters had fallen into the deep hole. "I've told them a hundred times to stay away from that old well," she said.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office and West Georgia Ambulance joined the fire and rescue team in rescuing Winters. She was flown to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston for treatment. Initial reports suggest the girl may have suffered injury to her feet and possibly a broken leg, as well as potential head injuries, Blue said.

Kierbow told The Times-Georgian he placed Winters in a webbing system after attempts to place her in a harness were unsuccessful. "I was just a couple feet under her just in case she fell out of the webbing," the lieutenant said. "But she didn't slip out or anything — everything went fine."

“Winters is still in critical condition,” Cassie Edwards, public relations coordinator with Children’s Healthcare, said Wednesday afternoon.



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