An 11-year-old Hampstead boy was rescued from almost certain death yesterday after he was buried under hundreds of pounds of corn as he and another boy played on a tractor-trailer rig in a field.
Two men digging with their hands quickly uncovered the boy's head so he could breathe.
The badly bruised boy was treated by ambulance medics at the scene and later taken by state police helicopter to Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore. He was listed in serious but stable condition there last night.
The youngster, Jonathan Ingle of the 4500 block of Willow View St., was playing with Curtis Barraco, 10, in a trailer containing newly harvested corn about 12:30 p.m. yesterday when he attempted to climb to the top of the pyramid of about 500 bushels of the grain.
As he climbed, the Ingle boy pulled hundreds of pounds of corn on top of him. The boy's mother, Sue Ingle, said later that the corn apparently acted much like quicksand.
The Barraco boy, who had also climbed up a ladder and into the 1,000-bushel capacity trailer, tried unsuccessfully to dig his friend out of the sliding corn.
Another friend, 13-year-old Terrence Donohue, was riding his bicycle nearby at the time and the Barraco boy called to him that "Jonathan is buried under the corn."
The Donohue boy ran to a nearby house for help. Bob Supernaw, RTC who was visiting his daughter and her 1-week-old daughter at the home, ran to the truck and climbed inside.
"I could not see the boy, but I frantically started digging with my hands searching for him," Mr. Supernaw said. "Another man came in the truck and he placed his back against the cascading corn, and both of us continued digging until we uncovered his [Jonathan's] head."
The other man, Ken Hare, said he had been picking corn in the 75-acre cornfield and filling the trailer "when a boy came running out in the field shouting a kid was buried in the truck."
"I drove . . . over to the trailer and jumped down and ran to the tractor to start it up and . . . dump the load of corn to uncover the trapped boy," but couldn't start the truck, he said.
"When I saw that man climbing the ladder to get in the truck I knew it meant trouble, and I got there as fast as I could," Mr. Hare continued. "We just kept digging until we got his head out. He was breathing, but he was hurt."
The farmer said he has had trouble for years with boys from a nearby subdivision climbing onto the truck when he is harvesting. But, he said, "I was glad I was so close when it happened and we got the kid out. I'm glad he's alive."
Mr. Supernaw, of Ocean View, Del., said he and his wife were visiting his daughter, Mrs. Sheila Scannell, and his new granddaughter when the Barraco youth came to the door for help.
"We were scheduled to leave at noon, but I'm glad we didn't leave on time," Mr. Supernaw said.
"The Fire Department got here quick, and when they got here we just backed off and let them get the boy the rest of the way out."
Students in Carroll County were out of school yesterday.