Arlington group home employee fired after disabled man left to die in hot SUV

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by JOSH DAVIS and JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 26 at 7:12 PM

Man found dead in SUV

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ARLINGTON -- A developmentally disabled young man who died in a hot SUV outside his group home Thursday had the happy, mischievous mind of a toddler, according to the CEO of Cherry Tree Residential Services, which operates the home and seven others.

The young man was identified Friday as Terrance Sanders. The CEO, who declined to give her name, spoke of Sanders through tears.

Officers were called to the group home, which cares for people with special needs where Sanders lived in the 6500 block of El Dorado Dr. at 3:15 p.m. after an employee of the home found the man unresponsive in the Honda CRV. Sanders was deceased when police arrived.

Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Ellis Richard said around 9 a.m. Thursday the people living at the group home were driven to an off-site location for the day, then the SUV was returned to the home. For an unknown reason, the man was not dropped off and remained in the vehicle.

When a second employee got into the vehicle to pick the home's residents up at 3 p.m., he found the man.

The CEO said Sanders was like a member of the family. She said a caregiver who left Sanders in a car in an Arlington driveway Thursday had worked in the home for about a year-and-a-half. The caregiver has been fired.

Police questioned the caregiver, but no charges have been filed.

State records show few violations against the company, and none for health care related issues. Adult protective services will also investigate.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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