Investigators ponder charges in septic tank mishap - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Investigators ponder charges in septic tank mishap

(Source: Howard WaGGner/News of Maricopa) (Source: Howard WaGGner/News of Maricopa)
(Source: Howard WaGGner/News of Maricopa) (Source: Howard WaGGner/News of Maricopa)

No decision has been made yet if criminal charges will be filed after a 2-year-old girl fell into a septic tank Saturday in Maricopa, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said.

CBS 5 News asked Sheriff Paul Babeu, who was in Gold Canyon on Sunday, if the septic tank's owner might be cited for not properly securing the opening.

"Our investigators are still looking at the whole incident, as well as talking to the county attorney's office to see if this would fall in our area," Babeu said.

He said the incident may end up being a civil matter since the tank is on private property.

"Did they take all the measures necessary to safeguard any reasonable person from falling down that hole?" Babeu asked.

The septic tank is directly behind and only feet away from a convenience store.

It's also an area that holds swap meets pretty often.

Babeu said whether the hole is adequately secured may be a code enforcement issue.

Cardon Children's Medical Center said the child is in stable condition.

The girl was walking with her mother Saturday morning on West Papago Road, near the city of Maricopa, when she stepped on the lid, said Pinal County Sheriff's spokesman Tim Gaffney.

Gaffney said the tank's plastic cover had apparently collapsed under the girl's footing.

Some good Samaritans, including a newly released prisoner - Henry Ricketts - were attending a swap meet nearby when they heard the mom's screams and flew into action.

Eyewitness Barbara Fowler said the child was lifeless when they brought her up.

Immediately, a young woman, later identified as a nurse, stepped in and started CPR and mouth-to-mouth and revived the girl, who was rushed to the hospital.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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