DA Investigates After Child Left In Locked Van At Claremore Day Care
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma - A Broken Arrow mom said she was shocked to find out her children's day care left her 4-year-old daughter locked in a van for hours.
Now, she has some advice for other parents.
When Jocelyn Woods stopped to pick up her twin girls from day care earlier this month, she found one on the playground but the other was missing.
She eventually found her daughter, Gentry, in the parking lot, locked inside one of the vans at Claremore Children's Center.
"I was just shocked, but I just thank God that He had His hand in this and He protected her during her time in the van," Wood said.
Police reports say the 4-year-old girl was locked in the van in 80-degree heat for about two hours. The center's director said she fired two employees after the incident.
She went on to say in a statement, "We have strict protocol to follow to ensuring this is never to occur. Our children are our priority. God had his hands on this child."
According to DHS, the Claremore Children's Center is nationally licensed and hasn't had any inspection violations all year.
Claremore Police handled the case before giving it to the district attorney.
Chief Stan Brown said, "You have the opportunity for the ultimate tragedy when somebody loses their life or becomes permanently incapacitated because of the injuries of this type of event."
If Wood has any advice for other parents, it's this: Teach your child to honk the horn in an emergency.
"She probably was helpless and hopeless in there, and what could I have done? What if I had just taught her how to honk the horn? She could have been honking it. The van was still in the parking lot, somebody could have heard her," she said.
You can check your child’s daycare inspections reports here.