Once again, a child was forgotten in a hot vehicle, and once again I have no idea how people can forget the child is in the car.
Workers left a little boy in the daycare van for over eight hours. They picked him up in West Memphis, Akansas around 6:40am on Monday. However, he was not ever taken inside the Ascent Children’s Health Services.
When they came out at the end of the day to take children home, police say they found the boy still strapped into the booster seat, dead. Temperatures reached above 90 degrees that day.
The boy has been identified as Christopher Gardner Jr, and his mother, Ashley Smith, is outraged. Can you blame her? She says the daycare needs to pay…and they do.
She said, “I didn’t hear from them. I didn’t have no apologies or anything. I just was like ‘I don’t get an apology? I don’t get a why?'” Smith continued, “I just feel like justice needs to be served, and they need to be shut down, because they had my son on there. I don’t care if it was anyone else’s child. They need to be shut down. It just was mines.”
She told Fox 13, “Why didn’t you just do your part? You saw me put my son on that van. His whole family torn apart, because of someone else’s careless mistakes.”
The Arkansas Department of Human Services, which oversees childcare facilities in the state, confirmed that they are conducting a licensing investigation after the incident. Communications Director Amy Webb says the facility recently underwent a safety review in March of this year and did not have any violations related to transportation of children.
“There are a number of safeguards in place to try to prevent these types of things,” Webb told Fox News. “So what we need to identify is where was the breakdown in those safeguards.”
Webb noted that childcare transport vehicles are required to have an alarm placed in the back that has to be manually turned off. The alarm is in place to ensure a final check of the vehicle.
She added there were two discrepancies unrelated to transportation at the facility but did not recall exactly what those were. Webb also says the facility has not had any problems in the past.
Five people could face charges in connection with the child’s death, according to Fox 13.
There has not been any comment from the Ascent Children’s Health Services.