A 4-month-old baby girl has died after being left strapped in her daycare’s van for nearly five hours by accident, according to reports.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office released a statement on their Facebook page confirming that the driver and co-owner of the van, one Darryl Ewing, had been arrested for child neglect.
It’s believed temperatures touched as high as 92 degrees on Wednesday, and that the baby suffered a “heat-related injury” as a result.
56-year-old Darryl Ewing, who works at Florida-based daycare Love and Hope, picked up the infant and took her to the facility at 8:25am on Wednesday, May 22. The children in the van were then offloaded and taken to the daycare center’s building. No other staff were present as Ewing offloaded the kids.
Ewing proceeded to park the van in front of the daycare, leaving the 4-month-old baby strapped into the third row until the afternoon. Employees at the center realized she was missing only when her mom called to make arrangements to pick her up just after 1:00pm.
They rushed to the van to find the girl unresponsive, before calling emergency services.
LATEST DETAILS: 4-month-old infant left in hot daycare van for 4 1/2 hours.
— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) May 23, 2019
Tragically, the baby was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. A statement from Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office read: “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.”
“It was determined, the suspect’s actions (and lack thereof) failed to provide the victim with the necessary supervision and provide services to protect the victim’s physical health, all which was essential to the victim’s well-being and contributed to the death of the victim,” the police also said. Ewing was transported to the police station to be interviewed, but refused to talk to detectives.
The Department of Children and Families in Duvall County, meanwhile, confirmed via a statement that they had started the process of issuing an emergency suspension order to cease operations at the daycare facility in question, as per ABC News.
What a truly terrible thing to have happened, and so, so avoidable. A baby has died needlessly, and once again we must remind people to always maintain vigilance when it comes to children and hot cars.
Please share this article to help us get the warning out there, and to send prayers to the grieving family of this poor little girl.