Saturday, November 26, 2022

Child dies after being left in hot car while mother teaches Ontario high school, says mayor

The mayor says an Ontario community is devastated after a 23-month-old boy was accidentally left in a hot car outside the school where his mother taught.

Bancroft, Ont. Mayor Paul Jenkins, a close family friend who has known the family for 30 years, said Everett Smith died Thursday despite multiple attempts by teachers and emergency staff at North Hastings High School to revive him.

Jenkins said Everett’s mother is a teacher at the school. According to the mayor, the mother had to drop her son off at daycare on his way to work.

Jenkins said no one noticed Everett was in the car until the end of the school day. Much of southern Ontario was under a heat warning that day, and temperatures reached the 30s. The maximum temperature recorded in Bancroft that day was 27.1 degrees.

Ontario Provincial Police was called to the school at 3:45 p.m. for a child with no significant symptoms. Police said the child was taken to hospital by ambulance, but was declared brought dead shortly after.

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“It’s a sad, bottomless, hot car accident with a child,” Jenkins told CTV News Toronto on Monday. “There’s nothing more than empathy. It’s one of those things I don’t think anyone can imagine.”

“The whole community is in shock and shock.”

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Everett was one of two children. His older brother is five years old, Jenkins said.

“They are an excellent family, her husband volunteers in the fire department,” Jenkins said. “His children are everything to him.”

Jenkins is urging the community to have “compassion” for the family, and acknowledged that Everett’s death would have a “massive impact”.

He said he is calling on everyone to “support the family and support each other”.

“It’s been very painful,” he said.

North Hastings High School declined a request for comment. A spokesman for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board said in a statement that they were aware of the school’s situation but would not comment further.

A small flower memorial was placed outside the high school on Monday morning.

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In a Facebook post last week, the school said they canceled their grade 8 graduation because of “emergency at school”.

Bancroft is located approximately 100 kilometers north of Peterborough and 244 kilometers from Toronto.

The OPP said the investigation into the death was ongoing in cooperation with Ontario’s chief coroner’s office.

The parents of Everett, Diana and Jason Smith have started a memorial fund for their son in partnership with North Hastings Children’s Services.

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“This fund will be used to create opportunities for children and families to experience joy while honoring Everett’s legacy,” the parents wrote.

“One look at his infectious grin and your worries will go away. We knew his smile was meant to change the world. Sadly, Everett is no longer with us, but we know he is there for his friends.” Wants to do the best he can as he drinks his milk and asks for more toppings on his toast.”

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