With temperatures rising above 90 degrees on Friday, two disabled adults had to be treated at a hospital after being left in a van for nearly three hours outside of an education and therapy center in Plymouth, an official at the company that runs the facility confirmed.
Michael Eddy, director of transportation for Habitation Associates Corp. , said the incident happened when a company driver transported the two individuals to its Plymouth day center, but did not take them out of the van and bring them into the building.
“It’s one of those things that I don’t really know how it happened,” Eddy said. “We’re trying to get to the bottom of what happened.”
Eddy said the individuals were left in the van around 10 a.m. and discovered around 1 p.m. According to William Babcock, a spokesman for the National Weather Service in Taunton, temperatures in Plymouth reached 90 degrees at noon.
The two individuals have since been released from Jordan Hospital in Plymouth and, according to Eddy, “seem to be doing well.” Officials would not release any other details on the individuals or their injuries.
Eddy said the driver has been suspended pending an internal investigation.
“He was certainly very distraught,” Eddy said.
Officials at the facility realized the individuals had been left in the van when one worker asked about their whereabouts, he said.
“There are certainly protocols and policies that are supposed to prevent things like this,” Eddy said. He said when drivers exit the van they are supposed to turn on a sign on the back of the vehicle that says “vehicle empty,” forcing the driver to walk around behind the van. It was not clear whether the driver did this.
Given the two individuals were the only ones being driven to the center at the time, Eddy referred to the situation as “odd.”
“It shouldn’t have happened, that’s for sure,” he said.
An official at the Kingston Police Department, which responded to the scene, declined to comment, citing “an ongoing investigation.”