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Dorchester Toddler Dies After Driver Accidentally Leaves Him in Day Care Van for Several Hours in 80 Degree Weather

17-month-old Gabriel Josh-Cazir Pierre died last week after he was accidentally left inside a hot day care van for several hours last Monday. The van’s driver, Luis Matos, did not notice that the toddler was still in the vehicle when he dropped off the kids at a day care center. Temperatures that day hit the low 80’s.

Police are trying to figure out how this fatal Boston child injury accident happened. An autopsy is being conducted to determine the boy’s cause of death. Criminal charges could be filed against Matos, whose Registry of Motor Vehicles license to transport kids has since been revoked.

It hasn’t been verified whether/not the day care center that Pierre attended notified his family that he hadn’t shown up or if they even noticed that he wasn’t there. Current rules don’t require day care providers to get in touch with parents if kids don’t arrive at a center.

Unfortunately, child deaths and injuries from vehicular heat stroke are not uncommon. With this summer considered to one of the hottest on record in many parts of the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been working hard to remind people of the dangers that can arise from leaving a child in a hot vehicle. If your child was injured or killed while under the supervision/care of another party, you should speak with a Boston injury lawyer to find out if you have a case.

Hyperthermia is the leading cause of non-car collision fatalities for children under 14. Already this year, there have been at least 21 deaths caused by heat stroke involving children in this age group. Examples of serious hyperthermia-related injuries include permanent blindness, organ failure, and other serious injuries.

Meantime, officials have shut down the Boston day care located where the van that Pierre was left in was parked. This is a different operation from the one that the toddler was enrolled in. The city, however, decided to close down the center after inspectors discovered that the building lacked carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, or an evacuation. While the owner of Gloria Luna’s Family Day Care is licensed to run this type of facility, she did not have the certificate necessary to run it out of her basement.

Boston Day Care Closed After Child Found Dead In Van, WBUR, September 12, 2011
Van driver’s license suspended, Boston Herald, September 15, 2011
Dorchester mother: Family is heartbroken over loss of infant son in day care van case, Boston Globe, September 13, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Department of Early Education & Care, Mass.gov
Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles

Keeping Kids Safe, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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Boy Dies Following Shrewsbury Drowning Accident at Summer Camp, Boston Injury Lawyer, July 29, 2011
12-Year-Old Massachusetts Boy Dies After Collapsing During Holden Soccer Camp, Boston Injury Lawyer, July 19, 2011
Worcester County Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed By Family of Dudley Boy Killed in Massachusetts Escalator Accident, Boston Injury Lawyer, June 10, 2011
Our Boston personal injury law firm represents families throughout the state.