Dallas Police Arrest Day Care Van Driver

3-year-old boy died in hot van after field trip

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Little T Tiny Tots Day Care van driver Erica Hooks is charged with injury to a child in the death of 3-year-old Benjamin Price left in a hot day care van. In her arrest affidavit she admits to not following policy when it comes to proper head count of children.

    Dallas police have arrested and charged the driver of the day care van where a 3-year-old boy died of heat stroke last week.

    Police said 3-year-old Benjamin Price was left in the van outside Little T's Tiny Tot Day Care at 2253 S. Buckner Blvd. on July 20. The high that day at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was 105 degrees.

    Erica Hooks is charged with injury to a child, reckless, a second-degree felony.

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    [DFW] Day Care Bus Driver Arrested
    The driver of the day care van where a 3-year-old boy died will be charged with injury to a child.

    Investigators said Hooks did not follow the day care's policy for transporting children. According to the arrest affidavit, Hooks told police she counted in her head how many children entered the van.

    The police states that van drivers must conduct a head count of every child, verifying that each one is strapped in and sign in each child as they are loading, according to the arrest affidavit.

    Erica Hooks

    Hooks told police she counted the children as they got out of the van when the field trip was over and must have counted a child twice because she thought all 16 children had entered the day care.

    According to the arrest affidavit, Hooks told police that she usually double-checks but did not that day.

    Texas Child Care Licensing is investigating Little T's Tiny Tot Day Care, which has been closed indefinitely.

    Hooks is being held in the Dallas County jail on $50,000 bail. Investigators said she must resolve some outstanding tickets before she can bond out of jail.

    Family members of the boy told NBC 5 on Thursday night that there is some relief that an arrest has been made but said they are just trying to deal with his death and plan his funeral.

    Funeral arrangements for Price are planned for next Saturday.

    NBC 5's Amanda Guerra contributed to this report.