UPDATE: Child dies after day care accident - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

UPDATE: Child dies after day care accident

John'nay Lewis John'nay Lewis

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

State and local authorities are investigating a Wednesday afternoon incident at the Bright Horizons Learning Academy on Stage Road that caused the death of a child.

According to authorities, John'nay Lewis, 2, was at the day care late Wednesday afternoon when she began climbing on a bookcase.  Although the bookcase was bolted down, the child somehow managed to pull it away from the wall, and it toppled onto her head.

Lewis was hospitalized after the incident, and later died.

By phone Thursday, Michelle Mowery-Johnson of the Tennessee Department of Human Services said the incident was under investigation.  Memphis police are also looking into what happened.

"No one has been charged at this time," a Memphis Police Department spokesperson said. "This investigation is ongoing."

Mowery-Johnson said Bright Horizons has been open since February 2010 - not long enough to earn any stars in the state's ratings system.  The facility currently has one complaint on file, but the Department ruled it invalid.  Meanwhile, the state cited the day care center twice, but the issues were fixed in mid-May.

Now, DHS investigators have new questions.

"What was the situation in the room?" Mowery-Johnson asked.  "Who was supervising the children? Were there too many children to the number of caretakers? Were their ratios in order? Were the children being properly supervised?"

Bright Horizons was closed Friday, but is scheduled to re-open on Monday.

Bright Horizons released the following statement Friday:

On behalf of the management and staff of Bright Horizons Learning Academy, our hopes and prayers go out to the family of the child for their loss. We are trying to determine the cause of the accident and are cooperating with all state agencies and the police involved with this investigation.
Bright Horizons Learning Academy was in compliance with all city, county and state regulations at the time of this unfortunate accident including having the proper number of teachers per student. At the time of this incident, the child in question had been released into the care of her mother.
Bright Horizons Learning Academy was closed today as we make a thorough inspection of the building and, if necessary, make any improvements. We will reopen on Monday August 16 to provide care for our students.

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