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Family Wants Action on Dangerous Quarry

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Family Wants Action on Dangerous Quarry

By Mike Conroy. CREATED May 29, 2012

OSHKOSH, Wis.-Marjorie Mellen lost her son after he drowned in a quarry behind her Oshkosh home in December of 2011. Now, the Mellen family is pushing Zillges Materials, the company that owns the quarry, to place a fence around the water-filled hole so no one else will have to feel their pain.

The Mellens are having a hard time dealing with the loss of their son, Austin. But, they remember clearly what happened the night he passed away.  "We got a knock on our door, and this little boy runs in and says, 'Austin's under the ice.'" Clayton Mellen told us. He rushed to the ice to rescue his son, but it was too late. "I found the open water and jumped in, but I couldn't find my son."

Austin's mother, Marjorie Mellen says she's working on trying to prevent this from happening again.  "I just stay busy and focused.. and make sure no other parent has to ever go through this."

They've contacted Zillges Materials about the problem. But, they have not received a response. "We need a fence put up along this stretch of water here, so none of these other young people get in here and their parents feel the same way we feel;" Marjorie told us. "They put up no trespassing signs, but half the children here can even read that."

The Mellens say they want more. Zillges Materials says it will cover medical bills and burial bills that are not covered by insurance. The Mellens say it's not about them, it's about blocking access to the quarry.

NBC26 contacted Zillges Materials which issued a statement that reads; "Our insurance company is working with the parents. We have no further comment at this time."

The Mellens say they will continue their push until the fence is built, whenever that may be.