A 44-year-old woman and a 45-year-old driver were arrested red-handed after leaving a two-year-old child inside a school van. The boy died on Tuesday after spending hours inside the vehicle in intense heat, which exceeded 37º in the capital of São Paulo.
The caregiver, who would be the driver’s assistant, and the driver of the vehicle were charged with intentional homicide. According to the Military Police, the driver picked the child up at home in the morning and forgot to drop her off at school. At around 3:30 pm, when he went to remove the van from the parking lot where it had stopped, he found the boy passed out on the bench.
— Whenever I arrived, my son was there. Today I arrived and my son was not there. And I’ll never see him again. I will never see my son again — said Kaliane Rodrigues, the boy’s mother, at the police station.
The grandmother, Luzinete Rodrigues do Santos, said that her grandson had a birthday last month and was a special and cunning child.
— They (driver and assistant) were not at fault. But it was irresponsible. This is a fact. Anyone who takes care of children has to take maximum responsibility — said the grandmother, in an interview with journalists outside the police station. — I want justice, just like my daughter. I have to go after it so that others don’t go through what we are going through — she said.
The driver of the van took the child to the Vereador José Storopolli Municipal Hospital, in Parque Novo Mundo, where he was pronounced dead. The suspicion is that the heat caused the death, but the police are still analyzing the results of the tests requested from the Legal Medical Institute (IML). The case was registered in the 73rd Police District (Jaçanã).
The city of São Paulo regretted what happened and reported that the Free School Transport (TEG) driver was disqualified and an administrative process has already been opened to investigate the facts. According to the municipal administration, the Learning Support and Monitoring Center (NAAPA), made up of psychologists and educational psychologists, was called in to assist the family.