Mother Of Boy Who Died After Hours In Hot Van Sues Day Care

Jul 21, 2017

Christopher Gardner Jr.

An Arkansas mother whose 5-year-old son died after being left in a day care van for almost nine hours in hot weather is suing the facility.

In the civil lawsuit filed Thursday, Ashley Smith says Ascent Children's Health Services failed to provide adequate care for her son. The suit says the day care was "indifferent in the recruitment, hiring, training, supervision, discipline of employees," and showed a "callous disregard."

Smith says she wants the day care closed.

West Memphis police say Ascent's 15-passenger van picked up Christopher Gardner Jr. at 6:40 a.m. on June 12. He was found dead in the van at 3:30 p.m. Police say the temperature inside the van reached 141 degrees.

Investigators determined four employees were responsible for the boy's death. They face felony manslaughter charges.