HOUSTON - A family is grieving and an Acres Home day care has been temporarily shut down after a 3-year-old boy, who was left alone in a hot van for nearly eight hours, died Thursday.
"The owner came out and when she looked at the bus she was just screaming and hollering. Just screaming her head off, and right then I knew a kid was left on the bus," a witness said.
First responders were called just after 7 p.m. to the Discover Me Academy in the 8000 block of Antoine, where the van had been parked for hours in the Acres Homes area.
The witness added, "The dad was saying 'My kid, my child. Why? Why? Why?' My heart went out to him and I seen them take the kid off the bus. There was no life in him left at all."
The toddler was found unresponsive and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"The child was left in the bus for about four hours. Temperature was about 113 degrees.When we got here, we had a temperature gun check it. When we got here, the child was unresponsive," Constable Al Rosen explained. "The father arrived to pick up the child about 6:30 and then the daycare started looking around for the child; could not find the child. Went out to the bus and discovered the child was actually on the bus unresponsive. They called the Fire Department-EMS to come out and they worked on the child, took him to Methodist Hospital Willowbrook, where the child actually passed away."
According to kidsandcars.org, this is the third fatality in Texas this year. Texas ranks worst in the nation in child hot car deaths, with 123 fatalities since 1991.
At a news conference Friday, police reminded citizens of the dangers of heat, and protection of the kids and the elderly.
No charges have been filed at this time, and police said everyone is devastated by the terrible tragedy.
"We need to be focused on that this is a tragedy and everybody involved is sad. Everybody involved is hurting, so it is going to take time for them to grieve. It's going to take time for them to heal, including us," HPD Sgt. Lee Donovan said. "Unfortunately it is going to be a very long process for us and for them."