An Ontario woman has been charged after leaving her grandson in a hot car.
Leslie McDonald was charged with criminal negligence after her grandson, Maximus Huyskens, died on June 26. He would have turned two on July 29. An autopsy showed that the boy died from heat stroke after being left in a car outside a home in Milton for “an extended period of time” as the temperature climbed to 90 degrees. According to police, 51-year-old McDonald is deaf, but they were unsure if that was a factor in the boy’s death.
McDonald faces life in prison for the criminal negligence charge.
The Criminal Code of Canada says that a person is criminally negligent when they “show wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.” McDonald was charged with the crime after over a week of investigation, which involved police speaking to family and witnesses to determine what happened.
“If you look at the charges, it’s not homicide in the sense that the person was not charged with murder, but it’s classified as such,” said Sgt. Dave Cross, media relations officers for the Halton Regional Police Service.
Earlier in the week, a 3-year-old Edmonton girl was found dead in a hot car, but no criminal charges were filed because she wasn’t left in there by a parent or guardian. The car was also unlocked.
Clair Seyler, a spokeswoman for the Edmonton Police Service said, “It would have to come up in an investigation to determine if it was an accident that couldn’t be prevented or if it should have been prevented. It’s beyond forgetfulness when a life is involved.”
In the United States, two babies died after being left in hot cars last Friday. An Arlington County, Virginia mother was charged with felony child neglect after she forgot to drop off her 8-month-old son and drove straight to work. The baby had been in the car for six hours when his mother, Zoraida Magali Conde Hernandez, found him. She rushed him to INOVA Alexandria Hospital, where he died of heat stroke.
In Baltimore, an unnamed relative left a 16-month-old in the back of his truck after forgetting to drop her off at Head Start. The man didn’t realize that he had forgotten the child until he went to pick her up and staff told him she never arrived for the day,