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Oregon Toddler Drowns in Washing Machine


It is a seemingly harmless household appliance, but a wash machine accident devastated an Oregon family after their 21-month-old son drowned after crawling inside. Tiffany Hebb was doing laundry while her son Ollie kept her company, and when she left the room briefly, he crawled inside of the washing machine. By the time Hebb came back to the laundry room little Ollie was trapped inside the machine and lifeless. Although she tried to resuscitate him, it was too late, and Ollie died the next day at the hospital after suffering severe brain damage.

Fortunately, deaths from wash machine drowning accidents aren't that common. Between 2005 and 2009, two children under the age of 5 died from washing room accidents. However, 500 also children suffered injuries from washing machines and some of these were very serious including amputations and fractures. Hebb and her husband want to raise awareness about the dangers of washing machines. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the most common reasons for deaths and injuries related to washing machines is parents' lack of education about the dangers of leaving their child unattended around washing machines.

Despite safety improvements on washing machines, the best idea is to keep your kids away from both washing machines and dryers. A small child can drown in 1-2 inches of water because they don't have the strength to pull themselves up and a dryer can be scalding hot. Also, consider investing washers and dryers with built-in child safety locks or install child safety locks on the washroom door.


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  1. Quay says:
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    I grew up with the wringer washers, we were taught the dangers of these washers at home and school. Parents have to teach children the dangers in all homes, schools don’t manage their education job smartly for the children but what to teach to get the most tax money.

  2. kayle says:
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    for one how does she know that the toddler climbed into the washer if she left for a minute, two alot of washers dont run water when u have the lid opened and three he maay not have been that smart to push a chair up to the washer and stand on it and climb in. he couldve been looking into it and accidentally fell in. its sad these things happen. she shouldve put him down and closed the lid. i have three kids and i dont even let them near my washer when i do laundry they are in the other room becuz i dont want my two yr old doing that. i am cautious and think of those things and make sure they dont happen.

  3. Shannon says:
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    I do not think this was an accident. There are already too many contradictions and the mother is showing no remorse…How can everyone be so gullible?

  4. David Mittleman says:
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    Thanks for reading my post. I don’t think it is fair to say this wasn’t an accident. From the news reports it appears that the mother was extremely distraught over the loss of her young child. In fact, it was the parents who want to start a campaign to bring attention to the dangers of washing machines to young children. Unfortunately, I think accidents like this can occur in any family, which is why it is important to be aware of household appliance dangers.

  5. Natalie says:
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    I don’t think its fair to say it was an accident. If you watch the video, she clearly shows no emotion. Where are the tears? If this was my child I would be crying hysterically with real tears. Please open your eyes. The truth is deeper than you can see.

  6. David Mittleman says:
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    I still have to disagree with you Natalie and Shannon. While I appreciate your comments, I’m not sure if you’re trying to imply that the mother purposefully drowned her child or if she simply did not show the amount of emotion that you deem appropriate to the situation. In tragic situations such as these, it is difficult to gauge the appropriate response, especially on TV. Regardless, this story is about safety and educating parents on the dangers of common household appliances.