A 5-year-old little boy who was found unresponsive in a West Memphis, Arkansas, daycare van passed away on Wednesday, officials confirm.
CBS Memphis reports that the child, Christopher Gardner Jr., was in the care of two adults while riding in an Ascent Children’s Health Services daycare van. The adults, a driver, and a van monitor, picked the little boy up at a little before 7 a.m. on Monday. He wasn’t noticed until around 3:30 p.m that afternoon when a staff worker started preparing the van to load children up for their trip back home.
A 5-year-old was found unresponsive on a day care van in West Memphis. He was in the van for hours on the hot day.
Medical help arrived quickly, but it was already too late. The little boy couldn’t be resuscitated. The outside temperature on Monday was 91 degrees. Authorities stated that temperatures inside the van likely reached around 130 degrees. The child was found seated in a booster seat. Police think that he may have been asleep when the incident occurred, but they’re unsure if he woke up disoriented and unable to scream for help.
“He had no disabilities that prevented … he was mobile, he was also vocal,” West Memphis Police Capt. Joe Baker said.
Police, along with the Department of Human Services, are currently investigating the incident. Christopher was signed into the daycare attendance log even though he never made it inside.
Court documents indicate that Ascent Children’s Health Services has had numerous violations in the past, including failure to keep medicine out of the reach of children, trampoline use without the supervision of a therapist, and slide use without the presence of a monitor.
According to Ascent’s homepage, the daycare “provides quality outpatient and day treatment services to children and their families that are in need of mental health or developmental care.” Christopher was in Ascent’s daycare program after he had two heart surgeries as an infant.
The Department of Meteorology & Climate Science at San Jose State University reports that Christopher’s death marks the twelfth time in 2017 alone that a child has died from heat stroke from being trapped in a hot vehicle.
Check back with Crime Online as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Family Handout]