Blasting News reported on the tragic story of five-year-old Christopher Gardner, Jr., the developmentally disabled boy who was left in a day care van for eight hours during the heat of the day on Monday last week.

Four employees of the Arkansas child care and health service are facing manslaughter charges for his death. Christopher was found in the van on Monday in the parking lot of Ascent Children’s Health Services in West Memphis. He had been collected from his home shortly before 7 a.m., but never left the vehicle and was discovered at 3 p.m.

when the children were set to return home.

Four women arrested in hot car death of five-year-old boy

Arrests were made Friday of the driver of the van, Felicia Ann Phillips, 42, and three other women who work for the health service, Wanda Taylor, 43, Pamela Lavette Robinson, 43 and Kendra Washington, 40. All four employees were terminated from their employment and taken into custody at the Crittenden County Jail. The four women were responsible for the safety of the five-year-old boy and have since been released but are to attend court on Monday.

ABC News quotes West Memphis Police Captain Joe Baker as saying the four women had bypassed protocol with the young boy and that they were negligent and reckless.

Baker said Christopher had been found, still in his booster seat and that the boy had removed his shirt, shoes and socks. According to Baker, the sliding door on the day care van was childproofed and the boy would have been unable to open the door to get out of the van. According to police, the temperature was around 91 degrees when officers arrived at the health center parking lot.

Taylor, one of the employees in question, had reportedly checked Christopher off the list of children traveling in the day care van without actually seeing the boy exit the vehicle. Baker added that Taylor was covering for another employee who wasn’t at work that day. The van driver’s responsibilities included the unloading of the children, while Robinson was her aide.

Washington was employed as a van safety inspector and her responsibility was to check whether the van was clear after the children had been unloaded, but according to police, she didn’t do her job.

Ascent Children’s Health Services say employees did not follow set protocols

Dan Sullivan, CEO of Ascent Children’s Health Services, said in a statement that the employees had not followed company procedures and policies. He added that if they had followed the set protocols, the tragedy would not have happened.

CNN reports that Christopher had been attending the day care center from the age of one.

According to the Ascent Children’s Health Services website, the center’s services include providing health services for children with complex needs as well as day care services. Christopher had gone through two heart surgeries in his short life and attended the center for his developmental issues.

Now Christopher’s mother, Ashley Smith, wants the employees to explain how and why they could let the tragedy happen to her child.

Blasting News reported Friday on the story of another five-year-old child who was dropped off by the school district bus at her closed school on Monday instead of her summer school venue. Fortunately that story had a happier ending.