A Blount County man has been charged after authorities said his 2-year-old grandson died when he was left in a hot vehicle for seven hours on Tuesday.
William “Bill” Wiesman, 56, is charged with reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Authorities identified the boy as Ian Wiesman.
Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey announced the warrants Wednesday afternoon.
“These are not intentional acts, they are negligent acts, they are reckless acts,” Casey said.
“I always thought he took the child to daycare. On three occasions he was back in the truck, drove in the truck with the child in the back.”
“As a result of his behavior, his acts, the child died,” she said.
Wiesman is in custody and undergoing the booking process.
According to charging documents against Wiesman, the boy was found dead just before 3 pm Tuesday outside Kids Campus Daycare in Oneonta.
He was in the rear driver’s side of his grandfather’s 2015 GMC Sierra pickup truck.
He was fastened in a front-facing car seat and died from prolonged heat exposure. Casey emphasized that the daycare was not involved in any way.
The affidavit chronicles Tuesday’s events, which show Wiesman was in and out of the truck three times Tuesday, all while Ian was in his car seat.
Wiesman told authorities he had been taking his grandson to daycare while the boy’s mother recovered from hip surgery.
He would pick up the child in the morning from his Springville Boulevard home and drop him off at the daycare on Highway 75, roughly three miles away.
When he dropped of Ian, he would typically leave the car seat so Ian’s aunt could pick him up from daycare.
Wiesman insisted that he had dropped Ian at the daycare Tuesday and then went to work at SET Logistics in Oneonta where he parked his truck.
He told investigators that at 12:45 pm, he left work, entered his truck and drove home for lunch. He walked outside to smoke a cigarette and play a game on his phone and then returned to work in his truck.
At 2:45 pm, Wiesman received a call from Liam’s mother, who is Wiesman’s daughter, saying that the daycare told her Liam had not been to daycare and his aunt was there to pick him up.
Wiesman insisted he had dropped off the boy.
Wiesman then got into his truck for the third time and drove to the daycare. The boy’s aunt came to the truck and found the boy unresponsive.
During the interview with investigators, Wiesman admitted to entering his truck at least three times after he had placed the boy inside – beginning at 7:55 am and the last time at 2:55 pm
Casey, a mother of two young children, became emotional when talking about Tuesday’s events, and took a moment to compose herself.
“It’s awful when it happens anywhere. It’s awful when you have to work these cases and then you go home to your babies and you see what you see, and videos,” she said. “My heart breaks for this family. This family is very upset.”
“As a mom, I don’t think anybody ever understands it,” she said. “I didn’t sleep last night.”
“Everybody in the family is heartbroken,” she said.
Ian is the first child to die in a hot car in Alabama this year.
According to Kidsandcars.org, the boy is the 29th child to die in a hot car in the US in 2022. Ian was among three children to die in hot cars on Tuesday. The others were an 8-month-old girl in Jacksonville, FL., and a 2-year-old boy in Houston.
Tuesday’s temperature in Oneonta was in the low 90s.
Experts said at that temperature, the inside air temperature of the car could have been in excess of 135 degrees.
Asked what could be done to prevent these types of deaths from happening, Casey said, “I don’t know. I don’t understand it. I don’t know the answer. I’m not going to pretend I do.”