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Daycare Driver Arrested After 3-Year-Old Boy’s Death in Hot Van

A former bus driver for Discovering Me Academy has been charged and arrested after leaving a 3-year-old boy in a daycare van one year ago.

About the Child’s Death

Raymond “R.J.” Pryer Jr. died July 19, 2018, from being left in a hot daycare van belonging to Discovering Me Academy. The child was left in the vehicle for approximately four hours after returning from a field trip to Doss Park. 

R.J. was not discovered until his father arrived at the day care to take him home. According to deputies, the temperature inside the van was 113 degrees when they arrived.

R.J.’s parents filed a lawsuit against Discovering Me Academy about a month after the child’s death, accusing them of negligence for not having systems in place to account for all children on field trips.

About the Bus Driver’s Indictment

One year after R.J.’s tragic death, Houston Police indicted the bus driver Maurice Mitchell, 62, for recklessly causing serious bodily injury or death, a second-degree felony. He was arrested three days later. 

According to the indictment, Mitchell had not performed a visual inspection of the bus to check for passengers left behind when he disengaged the passenger safety alarm.

Results of the Tragedy

Discovery Me Academy has closed since the incident.

R.J.’s family started an organization called The RJ Foundation 4 Kids to fight for cameras in daycare buses and daycares. The organization’s first act was to dedicate a bench to R.J. underneath a tree at Doss Park, where he spent his last day on earth.  

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured after an accident or abuse at a daycare center, contact Thomas J. Henry. Parents put their trust in the staff of a daycare facility to keep their children safe and out of harm’s way. It is unacceptable for a child to be subjected to abuse or an unsafe premises while in their care. If your child was seriously injured due to the negligence or abusive actions of daycare staff, call our experienced child injury attorneys today. Thomas J. Henry has the legal and financial resources necessary to develop your child’s case properly. Call for a free case review.

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