One year after three-year-old Raymond “R.J.” Pryer Jr. passed away, the driver involved in his death has been charged.
62-year-old Maurice Mitchell was arrested by HPD and was charged by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for injury to a child by recklessly causing serious bodily injury or death, which s a second-degree felony.
Pryer died on July 19, 2018 after being left in a hot van for nearly four hours after returning to Discovering Me Academy from a field trip to Doss Park. The child was discovered after his father arrived at the day-care to pick him up. The temperature inside the van was 113 degrees according to deputies.
Per the indictment, Mitchell turned off a passenger safety alarm, set in place to safeguard young passengers from being left behind. He also didn’t perform a visual inspection of the bus to ensure that no children were still in the vehicle.
The child’s parents filed a lawsuit against the Discovering Me Academy a month after their son’s death, accusing them of negligence for not having specific systems in place to account for all children on field trips, especially when there’s extreme heat.
A bench in Doss Park was dedicated to Pryer last week to honor his life.
IMAGE CREDIT: KHOU