Parents, grandparents, guardians, and daycare staff are always reminded to check before they lock the car. The increase in the number of cases of infant death after being left inside a hot car is concerning.
Just last month, a 4-month-old baby girl passed away in a tragic accident. She was left strapped inside her daycare’s van for nearly 5 hours!
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office released a statement on their Facebook page stating that Darryl Ewing, the co-owner and driver of the daycare’s van was arrested for child neglect. The baby was left unattended in the van that was sitting outside in the sun. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Assistant Brian Kee during a news conference, it is believed that the baby suffered a “heat-related injury” since the Jacksonville temperatures that day touched 92 degrees.
The baby girl was picked up by 56-years-old Darryl Ewing of Florida Daycare, Love and Hope. She was brought to the daycare at 8:25 AM. All the children were picked up by Ewing himself who drove the van and took them to the daycare centers’ building. No other employees were present or in the van with them while he was offloading the kids.
He then parked the van in front of the daycare, allegedly not knowing that he left a baby strapped into the third row of the van, unattended. The van was left under the heat of the sun until the afternoon. The daycare employees only noticed that the baby was missing after her mother called to arrange for her to pick up her baby at around 1:03 in the afternoon. This is when they realized that she was not checked in by Ewing.
They rushed to the van only to find the poor baby still strapped in her seat, unresponsive. They called emergency services but sadly, it was too late.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s statement, the baby was pronounced dead on arrival. The statement reads:
“Police and rescue personnel arrived and found the victim inside the daycare unresponsive. The victim was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased.”
After a preliminary investigation, it was revealed that Ewing was supposed to have a separate log of all the children that he placed inside his van.
According to the log, there is a record of the victims’ two siblings but not the victim herself. There is a possibility that the driver just copied the log that was maintained at the time of checking in and onto his own log which explains why he missed out on entering the name of the 4-year-old baby.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office explains, “This log is separate from the parental log signed by parents. Detectives viewed the driver’s log, which showed the suspect had logged in two of the victim’s siblings but not the victim.”
The law enforcement authorities also interviewed other daycare center employees and they claimed that it was the van drivers’ responsibility to check and to ensure that all the children are offloaded from the van at the daycare center.
The police claim that it was determined that Ewing failed to provide the victim with the necessary supervision and services to make sure to protect the physical health of the victim. Everything proves that Ewings’ actions and lack of responsibility led to the 4-month-old baby’s death.