A 2-year-old boy died after he was accidentally left in a hot, locked van with the windows up for more than six hours Wednesday, according to the Bucks County coroner.
A neighbor took the little boy to the Penndel daycare that morning. Rimma Shvartsman co-owns the center and little Daniel Slutsky lived just two doors away in Feasterville, according to Philly.com.
Shvartsman, 46, parked the van outside the Fairy Tales Day Care center and went in to work. "She has indicated that she forgot the child was in the car at the time," said Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry.
More than six hours passed before Shvartsman went back out to her van. That's when she found Daniel, unresponsive in his car seat, carried him back inside the daycare and called 9-1-1. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead An autopsy confimed that he died of hyperthermia or heat exposure.
The temperature outside in the late afternoon was about 84 degrees. In that kind of weather, a car parked in the sun can reach temperatures from 131 to 172 degrees, according to the Bucks County Courier Times.
"This is just a nightmare no parent should have to experience," said Joseph Campbell, the county coroner who ruled the death accidental.
On the street where the Slutskys and Shvartsman live today, her house was dark and quiet, according to the Inky and mourners came to sit shiva with Daniel's family.
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"This is a tragic accident and of course, if there was any way that Rimma could revisit yesterday's events and undo them, she would do so in an instant," said Michael Mustakoff, Shvartsman's attorney. "Our great sadness and prayers go out to the Slutsky family in this terrible time of loss."
The DA agreed it's "a horrible tragedy," and hasn't decided if any charges will be filed.