A boy doing what any kid does on a snow day—digging around in the snow—met a tragic end when the tunnel he had burrowed collapsed and suffocated him. The 10-year-old was playing on his grandparents' farm in upstate New York Wednesday when his father, who was clearing the driveway, suddenly realized his son was nowhere to be seen, reports the New York Daily News. After a frantic search in and outside the house, they found Benjamin Wasik under two feet of snow, called 911, and were instructed to begin CPR. Paramedics arrived at the Pendleton home and rushed him to the hospital, but were never able to restart the boy's heart; he'd been under the snow, suffocated, for a total of about 20 minutes.
A similar tragedy occurred in the area 15 years ago, reports the Buffalo News. Now, Niagara County is in mourning as news of the fourth-grader's death spreads. "He was a sweet, gentle soul," his aunt says. He loved Star Wars, Legos, and baseball. The News reports Benjamin was found in a snow bank that had been created by a plow. Sheriff James Voutour says the boy's father had told him not to play on the piles, and says that while he advises parents to be watchful of their kids, what happened in Pendleton was truly a freak accident. "The parents did everything they could to keep an eye on him," says Voutour. Benjamin's funeral will be held on Sunday in Lockport, NY. (This pre-teen died when city workers dumped snow on his fort.)