Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Claim: Child falls on knife in open dishwasher and dies.

Status: True.

Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]

Dear Family and Friends:

I do not like sending such a sad e-mail but I have been asked to help spread this news by a member of Bryan's family. A relative recently had a horrendous tragedy occur in her family. A little five year old girl was running around her house when she stumbled into an open dishwasher. There was a knife in the basket of the washer with its blade pointed up. When she fell into the washer, the knife pierced her heart and lung. She died almost immediately, with her family helpless to save her precious life. Her mother wants to give others the chance to be safer than they were, and avoid this ever happening again. If possible, please help spread this warning to others.

Thank you,
Mary Leigh

Origins: Though we've no clear notion who "Mary Leigh" or "Bryan's family" are or what their involvement was with this story, the gist of the message is factual: On 22 January 2003, a five-year-old Kentucky girl died of wounds received when she fell onto a knife exposed in an open dishwasher. The fatal accident befell Payton Michael McElroy during a visit at her grandparents' house in the company of her mother and brother. The two children were playing while the grandmother was unloading the

dishwasher, and somehow during this play session the girl tripped and fell onto a knife housed on the open dishwasher's door. The blade punctured the child's heart and left lung.

This tragedy serves as a sad reminder for the need to always load utensils into the dishwasher with their sharp ends pointing down. Forks, knives, scissors -- all should be placed in the cutlery basket with their blades or tines down.

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