Boy Found Dead in Hot Car on College Campus After Dad Forgets to Drop Him at Daycare
A three-year-old Indiana boy died after being left in a car on the University of Southern Indiana campus in Evansville for several hours Tuesday.
The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office said Oliver Dill was found unresponsive in a child safety seat around 1:45 p.m..
Police believe the father, a university employee, forgot to drop the boy off at the school’s daycare center and accidentally left him in the car, WFIE reports. The sheriff said the father realized the boy was still in the car when he went to get him from the day care, according to WFIE.
“On my way out here, the temperature in my car was in the mid 90′s, so I’m certain the temperature inside the car went over 100 degrees, so, obviously, parents just need to be aware and make sure they double check their cars before they get out,” Major Jason Ashworth of the Sheriff’s Office said, according to WFIE.
A cause or manner of death has yet to be determined.
“We are still waiting on toxicology and lab studies,” Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear tells PEOPLE.
Lockyear says the results should be back in three weeks.
“These tragedies do happen, “he says. “The father reported it was not his ordinary day. He doesn’t normally drop the child off at the daycare.”
Lockyear adds, “Right now the investigation is to substantiate the report by the father or disprove it.”
Lockyear says the child’s death has rattled everyone involved.
“I saw a brand new deputy shaking,” he says. “He was overwhelmed. This is a tragedy and it is terrible for everyone: the family, the responders, the day care center and the university staff. This is completely preventable and I wish someone would come up with a way of keeping us humans from being human and forgetting stuff.”
“There has got to be some engineering student genius who can develop a system that can alert you if someone is in the back seat of the car,” he says. “Out of these tragedies there has got to be movement forward. We can’t just sit back and respond and investigate them. We have to find out a way to prevent them.”
In a statement, University president Ron Rochon said he was “deeply saddened” by the death.
“We are supporting the work of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department in their investigation and thank USI Public Safety for their immediate response and that of the wonderful staff of the Children’s Learning Center who provided aid,” Rochon said.
The Children’s Learning Center will be closed Wednesday, and will reopen Monday.
Police said that the initial investigation by Sheriff’s Office detectives has resulted in no arrests. Once the investigation is complete, it will be submitted to the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office for final review.