Teen with special needs left in hot car during Abbotsford Airshow

Temperatures reached 27 degrees during incident on Sunday

While spectators were enjoying the Abbotsford Airshow on the weekend

Kielah Tocheniuk and a co-worker were packing up items from the booth they manned at the Abbotsford Airshow on Sunday when some movement caught their eye in the car next to them.

A girl was in the backseat, and she appeared to be struggling. The vehicle was not running and a window was open only about two inches in the 27 degree afternoon heat.

Tocheniuk moved closer and noticed that the girl was sweating profusely. Tocheniuk began talking to her, and it soon became apparent that the girl was developmentally delayed and couldn’t speak.

She was buckled in to her seatbelt, the doors were locked, and she didn’t know how to get out. She was trying to squeeze her hand through the crack in the window to indicate that she wanted out.

Tocheniuk was distraught. She and her co-worker had been loading the vehicle for 30 minutes and nobody had come to check on the girl.

Tocheniuk considered breaking a window but a police officer was nearby, and she notified him and some on-site St. John Ambulance paramedics of the situation.

The officer tried to communicate with the girl and, as he was radioing for permission to break a window, her parents returned to the vehicle and unlocked it. By this time, another 15 minutes had passed from when Tocheniuk first noticed the girl.

The parents said they had left their 15-year-old daughter in the car because she is sensitive to the noises from the airshow.

The frustrated officer explained the severity of the situation to them, and the St. John Ambulance volunteers determined that the teen was dehydrated and suffering from heat exhaustion.

Tocheniuk then left the scene, but speaking to The News two days later, she said she is still angry about what she observed.

“It was really upsetting … I definitely had a few tears,” she said, adding that she has a brother with special needs who is also non-verbal and she can’t imagine leaving him in a vehicle, especially on a hot day.

Abbotsford Police Sgt. Judy Bird confirmed that police investigated the situation and the matter has been turned over to the Ministry of Child and Family Development for further assessment.

The ministry does not provide information on specific cases and their outcomes.

 

 

Just Posted

Seabird Island opens 50th annual festival

The weekend festival will see First Nations teams compete in soccer, three-pitch and canoe races

LETTER: Agassiz’s amazing new pump station

Edward Monro talks about Hammersley Pump, but also the need for driver support on Mount Woodside

LETTER: E-Comm makes connections for ambulance

E-Comm’s executive director explains why ambulances aren’t in their jurisidiction

Agassiz study to look at drone use for pesticide application

The study will be the first in Canada to use drones to apply pesticides to farm fields

Lofty plans for Chilliwack school district revealed

Chilliwack school district draws up plan to add 2,900 student seats in five years

VIDEO: Powwow shares culture at Seabird Island Festival

The 50th anniversary of the festival saw its first powwow

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Most Read