Tube City Community Media Inc. is seeking freelance writers to help cover city council, news and feature stories in McKeesport, Duquesne, White Oak and the neighboring communities. High school and college students seeking work experience are encouraged to apply; we are willing to work with students who need credit toward class assignments. Please send cover letter, resume, two writing samples and the name of a reference (an employer, supervisor, teacher, etc. -- not a relative) to tubecitytiger@gmail.com.

To place your ad, email tubecitytiger@gmail.com.
Ads start at $1 per day, minimum seven days.

Witness Describes Moment When Children Fell

GoFundMe started for White Oak duo, ages 3 and 6

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
May 03, 2024
Posted in: White Oak News

A witness has described the fall from a third-story window that seriously injured two White Oak children.

A crowdfunding effort is now underway to help raise money to pay medical bills for Quinton Stephens, 6, and his sister, Elody, 4.

Andi Cartwright said she was out for a walk on Monday afternoon along Ohio Avenue near the Lincoln School Apartments when she heard what she called a “horrific” thud and looked to see Quinton Stephens on the ground, struggling to stand up.

Cartwright, who lives in the neighborhood, is a board member of Tube City Community Media, which publishes Tube City Almanac. She was the only witness to the incident and the first person to call for help.

“I immediately realized he’d jumped (or) fallen from the third floor when I looked up and saw a baby leaning out over the windowsill through a broken pane of glass,” said Cartwright on Thursday. She said she called 9-1-1 as she struggled to comfort Quinton and urged the smaller child not to come outside.

Cartwright was talking with a 9-1-1 operator when she heard a second noise and saw that Elody had fallen as well and hit a concrete window ledge.

Elody Stephens was flown by medical helicopter to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Lawrenceville, while Quinton was taken by ambulance.

“By some miracle, both children survived the 30 foot drop,” Cartwright said.

In interviews this week, neighbors and residents of the building said they have complained before about the windows in the apartment building, managed by North Versailles Twp. based Brandywine Properties and owned by a limited-liability partnership, Lincoln School Associates, controlled by Brandywine.

The apartments are located in a former elementary school building that was built in 1917 and closed as a school in the late 1970s, according to district records.

Cartwright, a historical preservationist who also serves on the board of the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center, said that she wishes the property’s owners would “clean it up.”

The building was converted into apartments in 1988, tax records indicate.

The accident is being investigated by Allegheny County police.

In a statement issued this week, Brandywine Communities said the company would be “unable to comment directly on (Monday’s) events because of the ongoing investigation,” it was taking steps “to ensure something like this cannot — and will not — happen again. We are surveying maintenance concerns in all our units at Lincoln School Apartments, as well as making any needed repairs.

“We are also reviewing our processes for communication with our residents regarding any issues with their units and will be proactively communicating with them on how to reach us if there is a concern,” Brandywine said.

A search of Allegheny County criminal and civil court records did not find any active cases against Brandywine regarding property maintenance or building code violations.

The McKeesport Agape Center has created a GoFundMe to help pay the family’s medical bills and support their move to another apartment.

As of Friday morning, it had raised more than $3,000 toward a $10,000 goal.

The childrens’ parents told police they were napping and didn’t realize Quinton and Elody had gotten up and were playing at the window. Both children were described as autistic and non-verbal.

Cartwright is urging residents to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers and the children heal. She called the children’s survival a “miracle.”

Originally published May 03, 2024.

In other news:
"City Foresees Redevel…" || "Advocate Urges City: …"