The death of a 23-month-old boy left in a hot car in a Bancroft high school parking lot last Thursday (June 23) was a tragic accident, according to the town’s mayor Paul Jenkins.
Jenkins said Everett Smith’s mother, a teacher at North Hastings High School on Monck Road, didn’t realize the toddler was still in her car after she arrived for work on Thursday morning, as she thought she had already dropped him off at day care.
A longtime friend of the boy’s family, Jenkins said Everett’s mother only discovered he was still in her car in the parking lot on Thursday afternoon when the school day ended. The temperature during the day reached a high of 27°C.
According to a media release on Saturday from the Bancroft detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), who did not identify the child by name, Everett was found with no vital signs at around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday. He was transported by ambulance to the Bancroft hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police say an investigation is ongoing in conjunction with Ontario’s chief coroner and will not comment on any details of the case.
The Bancroft community is rallying behind Everett’s family. In partnership with his parents Diana and Jason, North Hastings Children’s Services in Bancroft has created a memorial fund in Everett’s name at www.nhcs.ca/everettsmithmemorialfund, “to create opportunities for children and families to experience joy in Everett’s memory honouring his legacy.”
“One look at his infectious grin and your worries would melt away,” reads a message from Everett’s parents on the organization’s website. “We knew his smile was meant to change the world! Tragically, Everett is no longer with us but we know that he would want to keep doing the best for his friends as he sips his milk and asks for more toppings on his toast.”
On its Facebook page last Thursday, North Hastings High School announced that the school’s planned Grade 8 graduation was postponed “due to an emergency at the school.”