Disabled boy, 9, dies after being locked in a hot car for two hours by his carer with the windows rolled up
- Police investigate death of disabled boy whose carer left him in a hot car with windows rolled up for two hours
- Authorities say the carer, who was not immediately identified, could face criminal charges
- The caregiver in question left him at Roost Services in American Fork, Utah – a local healthcare facility for people with disabilities
- Wednesday’s tragic fatality is Utah’s first fatality since 2019, but the tenth in the US this year
- However, the adults involved were not criminally charged in the two most recent cases in Utah
- “The biggest mistake you can ever make is thinking it can’t happen to you or your family,” says Janette Fennell, founder of Kids and Car Safety.
Police investigate death of disabled boy whose carer faces criminal charges after leaving him two hours in a hot car with the windows rolled up.
The caretaker, who was not immediately identified, left the 9-year-old boy on Wednesday in a car parked at Roost Services in American Fork, Utah – a care facility for people with disabilities. The caregiver is an employee of Roost.
American Fork Police Lt. Jason Christensen told: KFOX 14 that the boy, whose name was also not publicly released, was taken to the facility by the employee around 11:30 a.m.
His lifeless body was discovered just before 1:30 p.m., according to authorities.
“At that time, the outside temperatures here were in the high 90s, 97, 98, so you can imagine temperatures inside the vehicle will be well above 100,” Christensen said.
“It sounds like it was picked up by an employee and brought here. Somehow, several individuals were brought here by that employee.’
Meanwhile, authorities continue to investigate whether the caretaker involved in the boy’s death will face criminal charges.
Police investigate death of disabled boy whose carer left him in a hot car (pictured) for two hours with windows rolled up
Pictured: The inside of the vehicle where the body of a disabled 9-year-old boy was discovered after being left there for two hours in the parking lot of a Utah healthcare facility
“That’s part of what we’re trying to figure out is how and why he was still in the vehicle, we’re not quite sure about that,” Christensen told KUTV.
“The vehicle was shut down, all the windows were rolled up, and all the doors were closed.”
Christensen added that Roost Services has remained cooperative with researchers. “Everyone involved is taking this very hard, when it comes to a child it’s very difficult things,” he said.
Wednesday’s tragedy is the first hot car-related death in the state of Utah since 2019, but the 10th in the US this year, according to Safety for children and cars, which tracks nationwide deaths from hot cars.
A caregiver at Roost Services in American Fork, Utah (pictured) could face criminal charges for negligently leaving the disabled boy to die in the hot car, police say
“Temperatures were in the high 90’s… and so you can imagine the temperatures inside the vehicle will be well above 100,” said Christensen (pictured)
IMAGE: In 2019, police filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s office for Wade Taylor’s similar death in Utah, but the prosecutor declined to prosecute the case
However, the adults involved were not criminally charged in the two most recent Utah cases.
In 2017, no charges were filed after a 2-year-old died in a hot car at a family gathering in St. George.
Two years later, in 2019, police filed charges with Santaquin’s prosecutors for the similar death of baby Wade Taylor, but the county attorney ultimately declined to prosecute the case.
According to Janette Fennell, founder of Kids and Car Safety, the potential for hot car-related deaths is often overlooked until disaster strikes.
“The biggest mistake you can ever make is thinking it can’t happen to you or your family,” Fennell said.
“I can guarantee you, folks, this has happened. to never [think] it can happen to their family until it happens.”