Heartbroken Nana of little boy who died in car on 35C day speaks out
Content Editor / March 12 2019
The grandmother of a toddler who died after being trapped in a car on a hot summer day last month has spoken out about what happened.
Valerie Foley was babysitting for her daughter Samantha Rowlands when her 22-month-old grandson Jonè was found unconscious in the family car at Chester Hill in Sydney.
She had dozed off inside after returning from a drive and did not realise the little boy was still locked in the car.
When she woke she realised he was missing, so asked his older sister to look for him.
“I said, 'oh run, go quickly and have a look', because I was inside,” Valerie told Nine's A Current Affair.
“And then she just came back inside, screaming and crying and she said, 'Nan he's in the car and his eyes are looking at me but he's not talking'.”
Valerie’s daughter Samantha said that she does not blame her mother for what happened, that it was an accident.
“I’ve lost my baby and I don’t blame her, so no-one else should. She’s still my mum and I love her,” she said.
During the interview, the emotional pair said they were sharing their story in the hopes it would help prevent other parents from making the same mistake.
“It can happen to anyone, it doesn't matter who you are,” Samantha said.
“All sorts of stuff can take your mind off your child, but you need to ... I don't know how to describe it. They need to be number one priority before anything else, because they're too precious.”
No one was charged over the incident, which NSW Police have described as a “tragic accident”.
Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.