Many of us have been reading about yet another case of a baby dying after a parent left him alone, strapped into his car seat for an extended period of time. Four-month-old Everett Carrey died Monday after his father left him in a car all day. Everett’s father left him when he parked his car at the El Cerrito BART station so that he could grab a train to his San Francisco banking job.
Sure—like a lot of people who have, for example those who posted comments on SFGate.com’s message board—I can’t imagine ever forgetting my son in his rear car seat in the car when he was a baby.
However, I can imagine doing other stupid things that could potentially have devastating consequences.
It probably doesn’t surprise some of you to read that I can be a bit spacey, or that I can get distracted.
So, I’m driving in the car with my now 11-year-old son. More than once, I’ve found my attention drawn to something to the side of the road or freeway as we’re passing. A moment of inattention, and I’m just about drifting into the lane next to us, which would be especially horrific if we were going 60 mph on the freeway and the lane next to us wasn’t empty. Or a moment of inattention, and I suddenly look up to see that I’m about to rear-end a car.
Oh, recently driving along Market Street in San Francisco, with its weirdly placed traffic lights and crosswalks, I ended up running a red light. Truly, I wasn’t spacing out that time. I was paying attention, but I did run a red light. Fortunately, a car with the right of way didn’t come barreling into the intersection at the moment.
One of the local TV stations tweeted for responses to the question of whether the father, Alan Carey, should be charged with a crime. News reports say police were interviewing the parents today. If police find evidence of any pattern of neglect or abuse, there might be a case.
But neighbors told the San Francisco Chronicle that Alan and his wife, Anne Carey, were “successful, responsible, and ecstatic about having their first child.”
And “some neighbors who have raised families said the tragedy reminded them of how exhausted they had been trying to hold down jobs and raise newborns.”
If Alan Carey was a loving dad who spaced out and had his moment of inattention, would it serve any purpose to prosecute him? Wouldn’t you say he’s now being punished enough. Could a loving parent ever get over doing something like this to hurt their own child. I know I couldn’t.