VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) — The children’s learning center on USI’s campus will remain closed tomorrow after investigators say a university employee left his son in the car.
Health officials said the death of 3-year-old Oliver Dill is one of many hot car deaths seen in the U.S. every year.
Major Ashworth with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office says
“About a quarter to two this afternoon, we were sent to a medical emergency here on campus where a child was left in a car,” said Major Ashworth with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office.
The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office says the toddler was left, strapped in his car seat, in a parking lot on the University of Southern Indiana’s Campus. They say Oliver’s father, who works at USI, discovered the child and rushed into the Children’s Learning Center on campus to get help. Major Ashworth says the child had been in that car since sometime early in the morning.
“They did move the rest of the remaining children out and were able to inform all the parents where to pick them up elsewhere on campus.”
One Evansville family physician says unfortunately, situations like this are not uncommon. According to KidsandCars, 52 children died nationwide last year, the most deaths in history.
“In as little as 15 minutes, an individual can lose enough electrolytes, enough volume, enough water, that they’re not able to run their heart and run their brain and the vital organs of the body can actually shut down if the heat is high enough,” says Dr. David Schultz.
Dr. Schultz says parents need to be extra aware of where their children are during hot days.
“Remember, children cannot speak for themselves, they’re not often able to get out of restrained seats. They’re not often able to yell for help,” said Dr. Schultz. “We have to pay closer attention to children as they can get into danger the fastest, without any voice to be heard.”
USI’s President Ronald Rochon released a statement thanking USI Public Safety for their immediate response efforts. President Rochon went on to say that the daycare will be closed tomorrow and possibly for the rest of the week.
The Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office says an autopsy has been completed, but the official cause of death has not been released yet. The Sheriff’s office said no arrests have been made, but in cases such as these, the case file will be submitted to the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
(This story was originally published on July 9, 2019)