Report: Driver turned off safety alarm on day care van where South Florida boy died

A 2-year-old South Florida boy who died in sweltering heat when left alone in a day care van might have been saved if the vehicle's driver had not disabled a safety alarm, according to a report released Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news

Noah Sneed died July 29 when he was left in the van for approximately five hours, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The report was compiled by the Broward County Child Care Licensing and Enforcement division, the Miami Herald reported.

The driver, whose name is not listed in the report, parked the white Ford E-350 Super Duty van at the Ceressa's Enrichment and Empowerment Academy in Oakland Park and walked around the outside of the van to turn off the safety alarm, which was located at the back of the vehicle, the newspaper reported.

According to the report, the driver failed to inspect each seat before turning off the alarm, WPEC reported. She allowed the children to exit the van, but Sneed, of Fort Lauderdale, was left in his seat. The temperature soared into the 90s that day, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

If the alarm is engaged, it is activated after one minute with a blaring sound that can be heard for 500 feet, according to the newspaper.

“The driver did not follow the correct procedures for operating the alarm," the report said.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office is investigating the boy's death as a possible manslaughter, WPEC reported. Noah was not strapped into a seat belt when his body was found, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Florida law requires that children under age 3 should be in a car seat, the report said.

Also, there was no attendance log taken on the van, and attendance was not taken when the children entered the day care center, according to the Herald.

Owner Lakeila Glennis Harris voluntarily surrendered the day care's license, the agency's coordinator, Tracy Graham, told the Herald. The day care has been closed since Noah's death, the newspaper reported. She could not be reached for comment Wednesday, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The school was issued a notice of violation by the county agency for failing six standards; five of them could have fines as much as $500, the newspaper reported.

Noah's mother, Chanese Steed, told the Herald she is still trying to understand why her son was left alone in the van.

“Imagine waiting for your baby to come home, and then he never comes home,” she told the newspaper.

GoFundMe page was set up to help cover Noah's funeral expenses.

About the Author