Two Arkansas toddlers drowned after their parents allegedly left them alone in a truck, which then rolled into a pond, CBS News is reporting.
Authorities say that Jonathan Daniel Welborn, 30, left the 2-year-old and the 6-month-old strapped in their car seats in his pickup truck, then left them alone in the vehicle while he and his companion, Brittany Nichole Hairston, 26, went inside their house to play pool. However, according to KTHV (Little Rock), a witness said that he or she watched Welborn deliberately back the truck into the pond.
Police say the truck rolled across a nearby highway and into a pond. There, the kids, unable to get out of their car seats, drowned.
When police arrived on the scene, they could see the truck’s headlights still shining underneath the surface of the water.
Police say evidence indicated that Welborn had been driving the truck shortly before leaving the children in it. He was tested for drugs (the results of the drug test have not been made available as of this writing), and he allegedly admitted to smoking methamphetamine that day.
The children, identified as Sofia Welborn, 2, and Zane Welborn, 6 months, weren’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse when rescuers found them. They were airlifted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and were pronounced dead at the scene.
Welborn is currently being held in the jail on $100,000 bail. He faces two counts of negligent homicide and two counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor. Hairston is being held on $25,000 bail; she, too, faces charges of first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in an average year, about 3,500 Americans will die from drowning — about 10 per day. Twenty percent of those drowning deaths are children 14 years of age or younger. Drowning is the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury deaths each year.
[Featured Image by Saline County Sheriff’s Office]