July 9, 2019, our whole world changed. It was the day my husband and I lost our baby boy, Oliver “Ollie” Dill. That morning we decided to take our kids to see Toy Story 4. I usually dropped Ollie off at daycare but had decided to stay home and pack for vacation we were supposed to have in two days. Instead, my husband took Ollie to his daycare before going to his office.
A few hours later I checked the daycare app that is used to document what Ollie ate for lunch but he was never recorded as being in attendance. I thought my husband simply forgot to sign Ollie in when dropping him off as it was out of his normal routine. It was almost time to leave for the movie so I called my husband and mentioned Ollie had never checked in and we would have to leave for the movie soon. My husband said he dropped Oliver off and they would be home shortly.
Thirty minutes later I was still waiting on their return. I called and my husband picked up the phone, but never said anything. I called back several times and never received an answer. I knew something was wrong so I put my older son, Owen, in the car seat and we drove to Ollie’s daycare. I saw all the emergency lights as I was exiting the road. Fire trucks, EMT, sheriff’s department, and campus security were in the parking lot. As I pulled into the parking lot I saw my husband’s car with the back door still open. I knew. I knew then Ollie was unknowingly left in the car. The sheriff told me in the campus parking lot our 3-year-old little boy did not make it.
We will never see Ollie go to school, graduate, get married, or have children. We will never know what he wanted to be when he grows up. Never see him play baseball the way he yearned to do while watching his big brother.
I had heard of parents unknowingly leaving their children in cars but never imagined it would happen to us. Never thought it happened to responsible parents until it happened with Ollie. I have learned this happens to the most loving parents. The ones that carefully plan a nursery when they are expecting; the ones that are always worried about safety.
These deaths can be prevented by a simple chip put into cars that detect a child in the backseat once the engine is shut off. The Hot Cars Act can save lives.