Bancroft 'rocked' by death of toddler left in car while mother taught at school
Mayor says community supporting family with sympathy, compassion
The community of Bancroft, Ont., is coming together to support the family of a 23-month-old boy who died last week after being left in a car, according to Mayor Paul Jenkins.
Everett Smith, whose mother works at North Hastings High School, was found in a car in the school parking lot after classes let out Thursday, Jenkins said.
The mayor said he believes the toddler was supposed to have been driven to daycare Thursday, but was instead accidentally left in the car.
According to Environment Canada, the temperature reached 27.1 C that day.
In a news release Friday, Ontario Provincial Police said a child was discovered with no vital signs around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday. The toddler was rushed to the hospital but pronounced dead shortly after.
On Monday, OPP said they're continuing to investigate in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario.
Jenkins said the community has been "rocked" by the news and is coming together with sympathy and compassion.
"Right now, we're just concentrating all our efforts on trying to help the family get through this," he said.
Jenkins said he's known the family since he moved to town in 1993, and has babysat Everett and the boy's five-year-old brother. He describes himself as being like a "grandfather" to the boys.
Jenkins said the family has been receiving regular visits from residents offering moral support.
The North Hastings Children's Services in Bancroft has posted a memorial fund in the toddler's name on its website. It reads, "this fund will be used to create opportunities for children and families to experience joy in Everett's memory honouring his legacy."
Jenkins called Everett "a smiley little kid."
"He was really coming along," Jenkins said, "and he was full of life."
Police said they will not be releasing further details until their investigation is complete.
"We are not in a position to comment at this time, nor will we speculate as to why or how this happened," a spokesperson for the OPP told CBC Monday.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, the school said they cancelled their Grade 8 graduation scheduled for that night, due to an "emergency at the school."
A memorial of flowers and stuffed animals has been set up outside the high school. Jenkins said a funeral is planned for Thursday.