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Toddler dies when stove topples over

Authorities say a caregiver was sleeping when a young Lincoln County boy climbed atop a kitchen stove that toppled over and trapped him underneath, resulting in his death.

Charges are expected in what State Police are calling a neglect case involving the death of 2-year-old Chevy Virgil Waughtel.

Troopers at the Hamlin detachment in Lincoln County were sent Monday morning to a home off Four Mile Road in the Branchland area. Dispatchers had been alerted that a toddler was trapped under a stove in the home.

They found the youngster still pinned down. A sergeant described the stove as being average-sized.

Paramedics were unable to resuscitate at the scene, and the boy was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Several other children related to the little boy were in the home at the time of the incident. The children were supposedly being watched by a family member, not Chevy's parents, the sergeant said.

The woman, whose name has not been released as charges have yet to be filed, was sleeping when the incident occurred, police said.  

Child Protective Services removed the other children from the home, authorities said.

The sergeant said the boy apparently was playing on top of the stove when it tipped over and somehow fell onto him. The officer said the house was in disrepair and the floor beneath the stove was unstable and deteriorating.

The boy's body was taken to the state Medical Examiner's office for autopsy.

The exact cause of death remained unclear. The boy could have suffered head trauma, the weight of the stove could have crushed him or he could have suffocated. Troopers were waiting for the autopsy report to be completed before filing any charges.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850.



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