Grandfather Who Held Toddler Before Cruise Ship Fall Says His Color Blindness May Have Led to Incident

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The grieving grandfather whose granddaughter fell to her death out a cruise ship window recalled for the first time the moment he saw the toddler slip from his grasp.

“I saw her fall," Salvatore "Sam" Anello, 51, told CBS News. "I saw her fall all the way down. I saw her fall and I was just in disbelief it was like, 'oh my God!’”

Anello was holding 18-month-old Chloe Weigand up against what he said he thought was a bank of a closed windows on The Freedom of the Seas cruise ship while it was docked in Puerto Rico in July. Chloe slipped from her granddad's grasp "in seconds," Anello said. 

Though the windows on Deck 11 where the incident occurred are tinted, Anello told “CBS This Morning” lead national correspondent David Begnaud that he is color blind.

“I'm color blind. I just never saw it,” he said of the window's tinting. “I've been told that's a reason it might have happened.”

Anello has pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide and faces up to three years in prison if convicted. But the prospect of prison is nothing compared to the pain of losing his granddaughter, Anello said.  

“If they find me guilty of whatever or not, it's inconsequential because of what has already happened is so horrible,” he said. 


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