Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fire From Above

It’s been a whirlwind weekend for Jefferson resident, Cheryl Angle (or just “Cher,” as her friends call her), the mother of Cassandra Gadow, whose roof was blown right through by a projectile shot from Picatinny Arsenal last Friday, on April 11th.

“I’m overwhelmed…exhausted,” Angle says over the phone, her voice tired and rough from lack of sleep and constantly being interviewed since the event occurred.

“I was up at a quarter to six this morning, Angle says, talking about her visit to The Morning Show on April 14th. “CBS picked me up.”

It was around 2:30 PM last Friday when the piece of artillery went hurdling through Cassandra’s ceiling and landed on her bed, where she just might have been if she hadn’t been picked up twenty minutes early for a sleepover that night.

“She spends a lot of time in her room,” says family friend and neighbor, Tammy Kersten, who has a personal connection to Cassandra when she saved her own daughter’s life from a copperhead snake, “It just goes to show you how precious life is,” Kersten says in reference to how close the shell came to landing directly on Cassandra.

Angle and her 14-year old son, Brandon, were downstairs when the 5 ½ inch long projectile went through the roof of their house. Angle likened the sound to the crash of a door being slammed.

“It was a close call,” says Kersten, who heard the entire story straight from Angle once she had gotten home from picking up her daughter, who is also named, Cassie.

“Cher said, you won’t believe what just happened,” Kersten says.

Still, while Cassandra luckily made it out of harm’s way, the family cat, Sarah, had to be euthanized after it was in the room and struck by some of the scorching shrapnel.

In a press release sent out on the very next day, Picatinny Arsenal apologized for the incident, and added that they were “extremely sorry that the family’s cat, Sarah, was put to sleep after being injured.”

The voice behind the press release is Picatinny Arsenal Commanding General, Brig. Gen. William N. Phillips, who was first to respond with his sentiments for the cat and also for the fact that such a horrible mistake could even occur.

“The investigation team headed by the general officer will determine what caused the fragment to leave the installation,” he said.

Not in the mood for just waiting around for answers, though, Angle’s picking up where her life left off before the incident, as at press time, she was taking her son to Pequannock for a game he was about to play.

“[I] need to lay down,” Angle said in between the phone making clicking noises from people trying to get through to her on the phone.

Looks like she won’t be getting that much needed sleep.

Not anytime soon, at least.

No comments: