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Boy falls into pit beneath outhouse, mother goes in after him

July 23, 1997

INDIAN LAKE, Ore. (AP) _ A toddler fell through a toilet in a campground outhouse and was rescued by his mother who was suspended head first into the 10-foot pit.

Della Elstad said her 2-year-old son was chatting with another camper Sunday morning while she cooked breakfast ``and a second later I heard Tyler scream.″ The screams were coming from the toilet.

With a flashlight, Della and her husband, Bill, could see Tyler standing in the muck at the bottom of the pit, arms outstretched.

Della tried to squeeze through the hole ``not big enough for a basketball,″ but got stuck. ``My adrenaline was pumping. I was going in after my kid no matter what.″

Her husband managed to break open the covering, and he and another camper lowered Della by her ankles into the pit until she could grab the boy.

Della immediately put Tyler beneath a nearby fountain, stripped him and scrubbed him head to foot.

The Elstads are still shaken.

``Panic just hits you when you think about it,″ Bill said.

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