An Alabama man has been charged in the death of his 2-year-old grandson, who authorities say was left for seven hours inside a hot truck that his grandfather drove three separate times on Tuesday, supposedly without noticing the toddler in the back.
William “Bill” Wiesman, 56, is being charged with reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for the death of his grandson, Ian, who was left alone in the truck as late summer temperatures reached 90 degrees.
Wiesman told cops he had been on drop-off duty while Ian’s mother recovered from hip surgery.
According to the grandfather, he thought he had dropped his grandson at Kids Campus day care in Oneonta before 8 a.m., and did not notice the child still strapped in his front-facing car seat behind the driver’s seat as he headed to work.
Around 12:45 p.m., Wiesman got back in his truck and drove home to have lunch, according to charging documents cited by NBC News. He told deputies he remembered standing next to the vehicle and playing a game on his phone before getting back in the truck and returning to work.
Before 3 p.m., Wiseman got a call from his daughter asking where Ian was. The boy’s aunt, who was supposed to pick him up from day care that afternoon, arrived at Kids Campus and was told that the 2-year-old was not there.
Wiesman said he insisted to his daughter that he had dropped Ian off, then got back in his truck and drove to the day care center.
“Upon arrival, Ian’s aunt came out to the truck and found Ian deceased in the back-driver’s seat of Wiesman’s truck,” the documents stated.
Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey said Wiesman returned to the truck and drove it three times that day, but told authorities he did not see the child until he was discovered dead.
“He went back to the day care thinking he had left the child there, but had been in the vehicle three times that day from the time he picked the child up until the time he returned to the day care,” Casey said.
The district attorney announced the arrest warrants during a news conference on Wednesday. The charges indicate authorities believe the child’s death was unintentional.
“These are not intentional acts. These are negligent acts and or reckless acts,” Casey said of the charges.
Casey, who has two young children of her own, fought back tears when asked about the emotions surrounding the child’s death. “It’s awful. My heart breaks for this family,” she said.
At least 28 children left inside vehicles have died this year in the US, including six this month alone, according to a website that tracks such cases, kidsandcars.org.
With Post wires