Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Don't Understand HOW This Could Happen: Autistic Man Dies Horrible, Needless Death in Hot Van

 I don't understand how this could happen.

The Trentonian reports that a 20 year old autistic Middleton, Pennsylvania, man, living in a residential facility was found dead in the back of a hot van. He had attended an outing with three other residents and two counsellors, each counsellor responsible for only 2 residents. How could a person forget and leave one of only two persons in their care in a hot van? The matter is under investigation but what could possibly explain this result?
I just don't understand.

"Police detectives are investigating the tragic death of an autistic 20-year-old client who had returned to the Woods Services residential facility from Sesame Place and was found dead hours later in the back of the Woods’ van.

The New York man had apparently been left inside the van from about noon until 4 p.m. Saturday when a nurse seeking to dispense his medication couldn’t find him, police said.

“The nurse and other personnel initiated a search of all the local buildings with room to room searches until a supervisor started checking the vehicles and found the client deceased in the back of the van that he had been transported to Sesame Place in,” police said in a press release.

“No names are being released at this time due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation and in deference to the family of the deceased.”

Woods Services is a residential facility for people with exceptional needs. Middletown Township Police responded as well as Penndel Middletown Emergency Squad, which confirmed that the client was deceased.

An investigation is under way to determine if there is any criminal liability involved, police said.

The deceased had made the trip to Sesame Place in the morning along with three other clients, accompanied by two residential counselors each being responsible for two clients."


Astrid said...

This is very sad. I do not understand how this could've happened either.

Anonymous said...

Indeed very sad, but it seem to happen more and more. I wonder are these caretakers maybe overworked? But if they feel tired they must seek help for themselves as well. They are responsible for lives and that must be taken seriously.My heart goes out to his family.

Stranded said...

6 people go someplace together. Two of them responsible for the other four.

One of the four is left somewhere.

That leaves a head count of 5.

I am trying to make this complicated in my head but it just won't work.

Unless both the responsible people were impaired and lost the ability to count?

I guess its best to leave this until the investigation comes up with something.

vmgillen said...

My son attended Woods until we pulled him out with unexplained third-degree burns. . . while there are good people at bad institutions, and bad people at good institutions, I submit that Woods and Pennsylvania have systemic problems which must be addressed. First, the direct staff, pretty much entirely, is of the non-caucasion persuasion. Management and professionals are not - and many (most?) believe that "those" people cannot be trained - which means no ABA, no upward movement in the organization. Does this lead to staff attitude problems? you bet! Every time I picked up my son, staff were mostly sitting around watching tv.

The next problem is Pennsylvania's non-commitment to any real quality assurance system. State investigators are very cozy with the institutions - presented with clear evidence of abuse, cases are deemed unfounded based on a handshake. This is not just me griping about an isolated case: anecdotals support, and we went through several complaints before pulling our son out, prefering to deal with Childrens Services in NY over having our child harmed in Pennsylvania.