Family members say Dale Garrett’s car sat on school grounds for hours even though he died inside.

TOLEDO, Ohio — School safety is a top concern for many parents this school year, but a local family is questioning the safety of TPS Elementary School.

Last Monday, Dale Garrett dropped off his girlfriend’s grandson at Longfellow Primary School, which he does regularly. But by the end of the school day, emergency medical personnel were in the parking lot trying to save his life.

“He was on camera at school at 8:30 walking him to school,” said Garrett’s daughter, Anmarie Aldape.

Aldape said her father never made it out of the parking lot. Garrett was found later in the afternoon in his truck parked on a U-turn in Longfellow.

“It wasn’t until around 3pm that a friend saw him in line waiting to pick up the kids and went to the car to talk as usual. And when he opened the door, my father died,” Aldape said.

The school administration immediately called an ambulance, but Dale could not be saved.

Although no students or staff were injured in the incident, Anmara’s concerns stem from the fact that her father sat dead in his truck on school grounds for hours.

“What is happening in schools now is crazy and scary! And if the same car is standing there for 7 hours, and no one notices it, no one checks it, no one even cares, who knows what could have happened there!” said Aldape.

A Toledo Public Schools spokesman said Garrett’s vehicle was parked in a location that was not captured by security cameras. Longfellow Elementary does not have a school resource officer or regular security guard, but it takes the safety of its staff and students very seriously.

TPS released this statement about the incident:

“The unfortunate situation that occurred at Longfellow Primary School two weeks ago involving a family member of a student was handled appropriately and appropriately by school staff. Emergency services were called when the victim was found unresponsive in his vehicle, which was at the roundabout behind the school; unfortunately, their lifesaving efforts were unable to revive the victim.

Counselors were at the school the next day to help any student or staff member who might be having difficulty processing the situation.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family at this time of loss.”

Aldape added that she doesn’t blame the officers for her father’s death and said it would have been better if it happened while his car was parked, not while he was driving. She is more concerned that no one notices the car there all day.

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