Man Left in Van Dies in the Heat
By: Jeff Price and Bonnie L. Cook
"In what investigators called a tragic accident, a 23-year-old handicapped
Perkiomenville man in a wheelchair died after he was mistakenly left all day in
his family's van parked at their house.
The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office yesterday concluded that the
man, who had cerebral palsy from birth and was in a wheelchair, died from
hyperthermia, the effects of extreme heat.
The man's name was not released because police considered the case "a private
family matter," said Risa Ferman, Montgomery County first assistant district
attorney. No charges were filed.
Ferman said the man's family had a routine in which family members would prepare
him for school each weekday, and then drive him there in a specially equipped
The man was helped into the van early Monday morning. But authorities said no
one drove him to school that day because of a miscommunication between his
mother and sister; each thought the other had taken him.
He was found late that afternoon in the van at his family's house in
Perkiomenville, part of Lower Frederick Township in north-central Montgomery
Cerebral palsy is a chronic disorder that affects the brain's ability to control
movement and posture.
Ferman said that, in times of extreme weather, the disabled are in need of