New Details on Child Left Behind in a Van Over Three Weeks Ago

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- NewsWest 9 talked to the McKinley's on Friday and they say it has been three weeks of hospital visits and constant monitoring of their son's well-being. They describe a boy who's been traumatized, prone to panic attacks, and who fears being left alone again. Now, Odessa Christian School says they are changing procedures to make sure something like this never happens again.

"It's a tagging mechanism so that we are checking three times before we exit the van," Shona Wood, Director of Odessa Christian School, said on the phone.

Two employees were suspended without pay for one week since Caleb was left alone in the sweltering van. No comment was available if they still work for the school. But Shona Wood, Director of Odessa Christian sends an apology to the McKinley's.

"We would love to know how Caleb is doing. We were all very fond of him and we hope and trust that he is doing well, because we haven't heard anything, and we do have a true and genuine concern for him and his well being," Wood said.

The incident has sparked discussion and controversy in Odessa some say fifteen minutes isn't that long to be left in a car and that the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.  But Doctors say it's very dangerous for a child to be left alone in a car.

"Kids should not be left in the car, the consequences are definitely devastating, heat exhaustion sets in very quickly, and heat stroke of course is fatal. Basically they can go into convulsions and of course brain death that's what happens," Jamal Islam M.D, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, said.

Odessa city officials were the first to file charges against Odessa Christian. They along with Caleb's family believe it was negligence and something should be done. We talked to Odessa police on Friday about it they say everything is still under investigation.