Driver speaks out after being accused of leaving child in hot daycare van
ST. AMANT- A former employee at A-Z Kidz Zone in St. Amant is lifting her silence after she was accused of leaving a little girl in a hot daycare van this summer.
Her alleged actions caused the daycare to lose its license. This week, an Administrative Law judge upheld the revocation of the daycare's license.
Emma Fridge was taken off site from the daycare back in June with other children but was left in the daycare's vehicle when they returned to the facility. She emerged at the front door, sweating and hot. That's when she was given cold towels. Her family told us they were never notified by the daycare about it. Instead, they said the child told them about it that evening.
Melissa Ficklin claims she was driving all boys the day the child was left behind, and it was another driver who actually left the little girl in the van.
"I tell a lot of people, they took that van, threw me under it, ran over me... Backed back over me and stumped on me on the way out is how I feel," Ficklin said. "It's just not fair."
Ficklin provided us a letter from the Department of Children and Family Services which indicated that she was under investigation for child neglect. DCFS would not confirm if it was investigating, but Ficklin said she took a call from them last week.
"Child services cleared me last week... Relieved of being named at fault," Ficklin said.
In fact, Fridge's family is standing behind Ficklin. They said their 7-year-old son confirmed that it was not Ficklin who left Emma in the van despite court records indicating that.
Ficklin said she's speaking up to clear her name since she believes she was blamed for something she didn't do.
The owner of the daycare, Randal Brown, told WBRZ he has not decided whether he will appeal the judge's ruling. He declined to do an interview, citing a surgery he had to have today. A-Z Kidz Zone has ten days to appeal the ruling.
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