Nebraska DHHS closes day care center in Omaha after infant’s death; Truck driver arrested

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Omaha Police officers have arrested a daycare truck driver after a 1-year-old child died as a result of being left in the vehicle for several hours on a sweltering summer day.

The driver, identified as Ryan Williams, 62, is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning to face charges of child abuse by negligence resulting in death.

Ryan Williams(Omaha Police Department)

Meanwhile, there is a closed sign on the nursery door.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services also confirmed to 6News on Tuesday that state officials had issued an emergency order closing the day care center.

“The protection and well-being of children is the highest priority of the Department of Health and Human Services, and we are working with law enforcement as they investigate this tragic death. Additionally, an emergency order has been issued to temporarily close the facility until further investigation can be conducted.”

Meanwhile, authorities continue to investigate the death of 1-year-old Ramiya Worthington who was left in a truck at a day care center during Monday’s heat.

She was discovered in the truck outside Kids Future Child Development Center II near 50th Street and Leavenworth Avenue shortly after 3 p.m.

The child was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital, according to Douglas County court documents.

6 News confirmed on Monday that the driver transported Ramia and two of her brothers on Monday morning. The other two children were taken out of the truck, but Ramiya was not.

Court testimony

According to Douglas County court documents, Ramiah remained in the hot truck for five hours — a time frame confirmed by surveillance video. But her parents said they believed Ramiya was left in the truck for up to eight hours.

“It had to be about 8 a.m. – 8 a.m. We didn’t get a call until 3 (p.m.). My daughter could have been there for eight or seven hours, no windows open, nothing. Screaming. Crying. No one heard “Everyone is in this building while she’s out in the parking lot,” Sina Johnson, the girl’s mother, told 6News on Tuesday.

With temperatures expected to be in the upper 90s that day and a dew point near 80 degrees, the reported heat index for the area is expected to reach 115 or 120 in some areas.

Douglas County court documents indicate Ramiya’s temperature was 109 degrees when she arrived at the hospital on Monday.

Ramya Worthington (Raamiya Sina Johnson)
Ramya Worthington (Raamiya Sina Johnson)(F T)

According to the affidavit, Williams told police he transported the girl daily, and there were about nine children in the truck when he arrived at daycare Monday.

He told police he began unloading the children and was distracted by a young boy who did not want to get out of the truck and get inside. Another employee got out and picked up the boy, then Williams closed the truck door.

Williams said he normally checks the truck to make sure no one is in it, but he didn’t do that Monday.

When he returned to the truck several hours later to continue on his afternoon route, he found the victim on the floor of the back seat, the police report states. He said he picked her up and ran inside with her and 911 was called.

Offer of support

Although closed for the day, there was a lot of activity outside Kids Future Child Development Center II on Tuesday.

“A lot of people have been here for us, and I appreciate everyone,” Johnson said. “This could have been anyone’s child; So, whoever that kid was, I was going to be here too, because that’s what I was going to do for my community. No child deserves that.”

With dozens out in the continuing hot weather, Johnson said she was grateful for all the support. She also said Tuesday’s experience gave her insights into what her daughter went through in that daycare van the day before.

“You see, it’s hot right now – I’m already burning, you know what I mean? I can only imagine how I felt, and how many hours my daughter spent in that car. It’s not fair; it really is,” she said.

Others were also there to show their support for the family.

“She’s going through a really tough time, a tough time right now. So I’m making sure I’m here to support her, so she knows she’s got that support by her side in tough times like this,” said Kelly Holmes, Johnson’s friend.

Others were there because they were angry, saying they couldn’t believe what had happened.

“Where’s your protocol? Who was counting the kids? How did you pick up three siblings and forget one in the car?” said child care colleague Brittany Martinez. “I haven’t done anything since I picked up my kids yesterday except pass comments. I’m consumed with this. “It’s disgusting that they would let a child die in their care, and it’s disgusting the way they’ve been traumatized – not just my kids, but every other kid in that daycare.” .

She said she was worried about what she would tell her child about Ramya.

“And now my 6-year-old will ask me: ‘Mom, is this baby okay? Is the baby okay?’ It’s inconceivable that anyone left a child in the car. I have no sympathy for anyone who forgot a child in the car. You don’t forget your phone. You Don’t forget your wallet.

Ramya’s parents said they want to make sure everyone remembers their daughter — and remember how important their children are.

“We’re here for one thing, and that’s for my daughter Ramya. You all have to love your families. Help your families with your cousins ​​and nieces — it takes a village to raise a family,” Johnson said. “You think you can trust people, but you can’t.” . No one will take care of your children like you do. That’s why I’m here.”

Reporter Marlo Lundak and digital director Jenna Dvorak contributed to this report.

The death of daycare
Ramya Worthington (Raamiya Sina Johnson)

(Tags for translation)Ramya Worthington

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