fatally idiotic parent of the day
Oh, no...it looks like summer "leave your kid to die in a car" season has begun a little early here in Indianapolis. 13-month-old Hanna Johnson died of extreme dehydration after he mother -- apparently drunk -- left her in a car for more than seven hours while she slept it off in the house.
Police on Wednesday charged Amie R. Price, 27, Hanna Johnson's mother, with a Class B felony of neglect resulting in death. She could serve a maximum prison sentence of 20 years if convicted.
On the day of her arrest, police recorded Price's blood-alcohol level at 0.21 -- more than twice the state's threshold for drunken driving. And they found antidepressants and what they suspect to be marijuana seeds, cocaine and methamphetamine around the house.
Price has been released on a $25,000 bond, said Johnson County Sheriff Terry McLaughlin.
This case is emblematic of a rising number of substance abuse-related child fatalities in Indiana, according to Andrea Marshall, executive director of the nonprofit group Prevent Child Abuse Indiana.
"What happened to this little girl is tragic," she said. "And unfortunately, in Indiana, it's not isolated."
From 1999 to 2001, 159 children statewide died from abuse or neglect, according to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Last year, 70 children -- enough to fill three kindergarten classes -- perished as the result of abuse or neglect involving their caregivers.
In other good news from today's paper, a six-year-old girl was killed when a family friend backed her pickup truck into the girl's bicycle, and a four-year-old boy drowned when he fell into a swimming pool while left unattended.
Events like these are tragedies, the more so because they're so preventable. I know, of course, how difficult it is to keep an eye on one's kids every minute -- frankly, it's impossible, and probably not even good for them. But we don't have a backyard pool, and just about anything that could hurt them is out of their reach. For Pete's sake, people, observe the minimums, willya?