Jefferson 2-year-old dies after choking on ball

Tragic news coming out of Jefferson in Schoharie County: On Sunday, 2-year-old Joshua Falconio, who would have turned three later this month, died on Sunday after a small yellow ball became lodged in his throat.

According to a press release from the State Police, Falconio was sitting on a couch in his living room eating a candy bar when the small yellow ball found its way into his mouth. He began to choke, and his mother called 911. EMTs were able to extract the ball from his throat in the ambulance while rushing him to Bassett Hospital, but Falconio died as they worked. 

The full press release is below:


January 10, 2011

The State Police in Cobleskill were dispatched to a residence on Creamery Road in the Town of Jefferson, Schoharie County on Sunday, January 9, 2011, at 3:56 pm, for a two year old boy who was choking on an unknown object. When troopers arrived, the child was already en route to Bassett Hospital in Cobleskill. Members of the Jefferson Ambulance and the Schoharie County Advanced Life Support were able to extract a small yellow ball from the child’s throat prior to their arrival at the hospital. The child, however, was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at Bassett Hospital. The child is identified as Joshua Falconio, who would have turned three on January 29th.

Investigation by state police revealed that the boy was sitting on the couch in the living room eating a candy bar. At some point, the child placed the ball in his mouth, and it became lodged in his throat. The child’s mother observed her son in distress and contacted Schoharie County 911.

State police are continuing their investigation into the accidental death of the child. Although many times these tragedies are difficult to avert, the public is urged to be vigilant regarding small children and their propensity to put objects into their mouth.