WJTV News Channel 12 - Apex group home resident found in hot van, suffers possible heat

Apex group home resident found in hot van, suffers possible heat stroke

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Police later determined Buddy Williams was a resident at a group home at 306 N. Mason Street in Apex. Williams and five other residents were being taken to work assignment in Fuquay-Varina Police later determined Buddy Williams was a resident at a group home at 306 N. Mason Street in Apex. Williams and five other residents were being taken to work assignment in Fuquay-Varina
APEX, N.C. -

A resident from a group home in Apex suffered from a possible heat stroke after being left inside a hot car on July 5.

The Apex Police Department and EMS responded to a possible heat stroke call. When officers arrived, they found Curtis "Buddy" Williams, 34, who had been left in a van for about six hours.

Police later determined Williams was a resident at a group home at 306 N. Mason Street. Williams and five other residents were being taken to work assignment in Fuquay-Varina around 9 a.m. July 5. The group home employees did not notice that Williams did not get off the van when they left the residents off at work.

The employees returned to the facility in Apex. The next shift of employees who came in at 3 p.m. went to get the van to pick up the residents from work. They noticed Williams inside and immediately called 911.

John Pearson, a neighbor, saw Williams being taken out of the van. "We thought maybe he was in the process of dying, or had already died, maybe," Pearson said.

Police have spoken with the Wake County District Attorney's Office and no charges will be filed.

"I would like to see nothing like this ever, ever happen to anybody, anybody, much less a handicapped child," said Curt Williams, father of Buddy Williams. "I don't know what the laws are, but I know it was not very responsible for someone to do that and I don't know if they were really trained properly."

Sheryl Zerbe, director of operations for Rescare released a statement Tuesday concerning the incident:

"We deeply regret what occurred.  We have extensive controls in place to protect the people we serve.  Upon finding the individual who was left in the van, we removed him immediately and began to provide treatment.  In addition, we called 911 and reported the incident to the police department.

 We take our responsibility to provide a safe environment for the people who rely on us for their daily living needs very seriously.  We do not tolerate any actions that endanger the people we serve."

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