NM toddler dies after falling into septic tank, family warns others

Officials believe 3-year-old Ryder may have been jumping on the septic tank lid when he fell through

New Mexico toddler septic tank death
Credit: KRQE

SAN JUAN CO., N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico couple has to bury their 3-year-old son after a tragic accident.

The boy fell into a septic tank and died a week ago. The couple said they never thought something like this could happen to their child. Now they want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else’s.

Cassandra Riaski and her family went over to her parents’ house near Farmington, New Mexico to plan a funeral for her mother.

“My sister, myself and our children went over to my parents’ house to do some funeral handouts,” Riaski said.

As the adults took care of business, the kids went to play in their grandparents’ backyard like they always do.

“The kids were just outside being kids, being mean to each other and fighting with each other,” she said. “And then not too long after that is when everything happened.”

Riaski said her niece came inside because 3-year-old Ryder was playing in the mud. Minutes later, mom went out to get him, but couldn’t find him.

“I just kept yelling for him, and telling him to come out, and it’s not funny and I need to know where he was. Then my sister yelled at me that he was down there.”

The toddler had fallen into the septic tank. Officials believe Ryder may have been jumping on the septic tank lid when he fell through.

KRQE News 13 talked to a pumping service to find out what people need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen to their kids.

“The best thing I could say is educate yourselves and your children. Know where the septic tank is and know if the lids are secure,” said Brandon Herbert, owner of Demaree’s Pumping Service, LLC.

“Make sure they’re secure and check on them monthly. It’s like a filter in your HVAC system,” he said.

The Riaski family said they want to work with the state to make stricter rules for how septic tanks are accessed and where they are located.

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