An Alabama man is facing a reckless homicide charge after his 2-year-old grandson died when he was left in a hot vehicle for seven hours, authorities said Wednesday.
Two-year-old Ian Wiesman died Tuesday after staying inside a truck for seven hours as late-summer temperatures hovered around 90 degrees, authorities said. William “Bill” Wiesman, 56, is being charged with reckless homicide and criminally negligent homicide in the death of his grandson, authorities said.
Bill Wiesman told authorities he thought he dropped his grandson off at day care that morning and didn’t realize the child was still strapped into a car seat on his way to work. Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey said Wiesman returned to the truck three times that day, but told authorities she didn’t notice the boy.
The toddler, who was strapped into a forward-facing car seat behind the driver’s seat, was discovered as Weisman was driving to the daycare around 3 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
“He went back to the daycare thinking he had left the child there, but he had been in the vehicle three times that day from the time he picked up the child to the time he returned to the daycare,” Casey said.
The district attorney announced the arrest warrants during a news conference. The charges indicate authorities believe the boy’s death was unintentional. “These are not intentional acts. They are negligent acts or reckless acts,” Casey said of the charges. She said the investigation is ongoing.
It’s unclear if Wiesman has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
Casey, a mother of two young boys, fought back tears when asked about the emotions surrounding the boy’s death. “It’s horrible. My heart breaks for this family,” she said.
At least 28 children left inside vehicles have died this year in the United States, including six this month, according to a website that tracks such cases, kidsandcars.org. In June, a 6-month-old baby died after being in a hot car for hours in Alabama, CBS affiliate WIAT reported. Two people were later arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter.
“I think everyone I saw on the scene had children, so it’s extremely difficult to be involved in something like that,” Oneonta Police Chief Charles Clifton told reporters during a briefing.
Mike Bettes, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, told Norah O’Donnell, host and managing editor of “CBS Evening News,” that if it was 100 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car would be 119 degrees after just 10 minutes. . After half an hour, the temperature inside the vehicle would be 134 degrees, which is “unbeatable for a small child strapped inside a car seat.”