After school program under investigation for leaving behind six-year-old in locked van

Posted at 7:34 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 19:34:03-04

A Lakeland after-school program is under investigation for accidentally leaving a child in a locked van for more than an hour.

The incident happened at the Central Florida Athletics after school program Tuesday afternoon.

Lakeland Police say the the 6-year-old girl fell asleep in the back of the day-care style van. The driver thought she let everyone off and locked the van but the girl was still inside.

“At this point, we don’t know if actually a crime was committed,” said Robin Tillett, an LPD spokesperson. “That’s what detectives are working on right now.”

In an off-camera interview, the owner of the facility, Tom Mathews, told ABC Action News that it is their fault and that they take full responsibility.

Mathews said they already fired the driver of the van for not following procedures. Wednesday they planned to hold another meeting with other drivers to re-enforce their policy of checking and double checking for kids.

The child’s grandmother told ABC Action News that they did take her to the ER Tuesday night but that it appears she’s going to be ok.

“We are very, very thankful that this has a happy ending and that it looks like the child is going to be ok,” Tillett added.

LPD has passed the investigation on to DCF to determine the next steps.