07/27/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Langhorne, PA – A 20-year-old Woods Services resident with severe autism was left inside a van parked at the facility for over five hours on Saturday, July 24, 2010, the hottest day recorded for the year, which resulted in his death, as reported by The Intelligencer.
Woods Services is a facility that provides residential, educational and vocational supports for children and adults with special needs, according to the company website.
Brian Nevins, of Queens, New York, died of hyperthermia after he and several others from the center returned from a trip to the Sesame Place theme park, according to Bucks County Coroner Dr. Joseph Campbell.
Campbell said of the incident, “This is a horrible tragedy. I really feel for this family…He was probably dead within an hour with those temperatures.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, which licenses the center, is helping with the Middletown police investigation. The New York’s children and youth agency is also involved.
One staff member has been suspended in connection with the incident, according to a Woods Services spokeswoman.
Nevins was found lying on his back inside the van at approximately 5:35 p.m., Saturday, after a nurse found he was missing from his room.
The Kia Sedona minivan had returned from Sesame Place near noon that afternoon.
According to reports, a male counselor escorted two clients to their residences after they returned from the trip. The second counselor took one client back to the residence but left Nevins behind. Nevins was seated in the far rear seat of the van.
The female counselor later dropped off the van keys at the end of her shift Saturday.
When a nurse arrived for her shift at approximately 4 p.m., she began by entering Nevins’ room to administer his medicine. Upon realizing he was not present, she notified a supervisor. The person in charge of Nevins residence thought he was still on the day trip, police reported.
The nurse and advisor looked through every building and residence before finding him in the parked van outside.
Temperatures Saturday reached 97 degrees. The heat index for the area reached triple digits.
Woods Services cannot do its own internal investigation until the state and law enforcement are finished, according to a Woods Service spokesperson.
Phone: (866) 598-1315