BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – An employee of Beavercreek Adult Services is under investigation for leaving a woman with down syndrome alone inside a hot car.
2 NEWS Investigates has been working this story since family members of Peggy Payne reached out to us for answers.
Tuesday June 17th, the temperature with humidity was in the 90′s in Beavercreek. That was the day Michele Ford says her aunt Peggy, 56, who has down syndrome was left in a van with the windows up for nearly an hour.
“She could have died,” said Michele Ford.
Peggy was being transported to and from a community outing by Beavercreek Adult Day Services, a program run by Goodwill Easter Seals.
The participants in the van were taken inside but Peggy, who has severe down syndrome, was left behind.
“She can’t undo her seat belt; she couldn’t yell for help, she couldn’t open the door so she just sat there until someone realized she was in there,” said Ford.
Ford said Peggy was found more than 50 minutes later in the hot van.
She said all Beavercreek Adult Day Services did was give Peggy water and sent her home.
Ford took her to the ER and where she says doctors told her Peggy had heat exposure. She was given fluids and has since recovered, but Ford is still not happy.
“I hope it never happens again and I think someone needs to be held accountable than just one person,” said Ford.
We took her concerns to Goodwill Easter Seals.
Natalie: “How are you going to make sure that this never happens again?”
Spokesperson Kim Bramlage said, “We are definitely taking this incident very seriously. We have policies in place and procedures and guidelines and regulations that we follow as best as we can and our staff is trained on a regular basis to ensure these things don’t happen”
Bramlage admits employees are supposed to make sure every participant is accounted for.
She says the employee responsible did not do that.
They have since put that employee on unpaid administrative leave pending an investigation.
She says the community should know this has not happened before.
Natalie: Should they be worried?
“No, definitely. We are very high standards organization. We are paying attention to all of these things. It was an unfortunate accident caused by one of our employees,” said Bramlage.
Ford filed a complaint with The Beavercreek Police Department and they are investigating.
So is Goodwill. We will let you know what happens.