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A day after a 2-year-old boy died from being left behind in a hot car in East Alabama, authorities announced charges against the toddler’s grandfather.
In a news conference on Wednesday, Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey announced that two arrest warrants had been issued against William “Bill” Wiesman. While no exact charges were made, Casey indicated that the warrants are for reckless or criminal negligence, and not for willful acts.
Wiesman was supposed to drop off his 2-year-old grandson, Ian, at the Kids Campus nursery in Oneonta on Tuesday morning, but instead went straight to work thinking he had already dropped off the child.
Police said relatives found the toddler dead in the truck around 3:06 p.m. Tuesday from prolonged heat exposure.
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According to the arrest warrant, Wiesman returned to his truck three times during the day, and at one point even drove it around without noticing that his grandson was still in the truck.
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During the press conference, Casey added that the toddler was in a forward-facing car seat. When a reporter asked her to go into that detail, Casey said children in forward-facing car seats can be seen in the driver’s rear-view mirror, as opposed to a rear-facing car seat where an extra mirror may be needed to see the face. to see the child.
Police said there is no evidence that Wiesman has dementia or that he experienced a “medical episode” that could have contributed to the child’s death.
“As a mother, I don’t think anyone will ever understand,” Casey said with tears in her eyes after a long pause. ‘I didn’t sleep last night. I do not understand.’
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The toddler was Alabama’s first pediatric autoimmune heat stroke in 2022 and the third to occur on Tuesday, bringing the total US death toll to 28, according to No Heatstroke.
“It’s terrible when it happens everywhere. It’s terrible when you have to work on these things, and then you go to your babies and see what you see,” Casey said. “It’s terrible. My heart breaks for this family.”
When asked what needs to be done across the country to prevent these cases from happening, Casey said she doesn’t know.
“I don’t understand,” Casey said. ‘I do not know the answer. I’m not going to pretend.’
The National Safety Council recommends that parents and caregivers maintain a routine and avoid distractions.
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“Place a handbag, briefcase or even a left shoe in the back seat to force you to take one last look before you walk away,” said the NSC posted on its website. “Keep car doors locked so kids can’t get in, and teach them that cars aren’t playgrounds. There’s no safe amount of time to leave a kid in a vehicle, even if you’re just running a quick errand.”