In Response to Local Tragedy, Sen. Whatley Pushes for Restaurants to Cover Grease Traps

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State capitol building in Montgomery, Alabama, at night

Special to the Opelika Observer 

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services gave a favorable report to Senate Bill 258 today. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn), requires commercial food service establishments to secure the covers of grease traps to restrict unauthorized access.

In October of 2017, three-year-old Sadie Grace Andrews drowned in a 6-foot deep grease trap outside of Bruster’s Real Ice Cream on East University Dr. in Auburn.

After the tragic, accidental death at the ice cream parlor, Senator Whatley promised to work with Sadie’s family to find a way to prevent further accidents.

“It’s always a tragedy when a life is lost due to an oversight. It’s even more tragic when that life is a child’s,” Whatley said. “This legislation will ensure nothing like this happens again.”

Sadie’s family spoke in favor of the idea during the Health and Human Services Committee meeting Wednesday. Her father, Tracy Andrews said he was “unaware that something so dangerous even existed.”

“I hope this law will help bring awareness to this issue and that it would prevent something like this from ever happening again,” Andrews said.

Senate Bill 258 is now in position to be considered on the floor of the Alabama Senate.

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