Breaking News
More () »

Man dies in car, left for hours while waiting in elementary school drop off line

Family members say Dale Garrett’s car sat on school grounds for hours, despite him passing away inside.

TOLEDO, Ohio — School security is top of mind for many parents this school year but a local family is questioning the security at a TPS elementary school.

Last Monday, Dale Garrett dropped off his girlfriend's grandson at Longfellow Elementary School, something he regularly does. But by the end of the school day, EMS were in the parking lot trying to save his life.

Credit: Amy Steigerwald

“The school had him on camera at 8:30 walking him into the school,” said Garrett’s daughter, Anmarie Aldape. 

Aldape said her father never made it out of the parking lot. Garrett was found later that afternoon sitting in his truck, parked in the turnaround at Longfellow.

“It wasn't until about 3 p.m. that a friend had seen him in the line waiting to pick up the kids and went over to the vehicle to talk like they usually do. And when he opened the door, my father was passed away,” said Aldape. 

School officials immediately called EMS but first responders were unable to save Dale.

While no students or staff were hurt because of this incident, Anmarie's concern comes from the fact that her father sat dead in his truck, on school grounds, for hours.

“Things that happen in schools now are crazy and scary! And for the same vehicle to be parked there for 7 hours and no one notice it, no one check on it, no one even be concerned, who knows what could have gone on back there!” said Aldape. 

A representative with Toledo Public School said Garrett’s vehicle was parked in a spot that it was not caught on security cameras. Longfellow Elementary does not have a school resource officer or a regular security guard but takes the safety of their staff and students very seriously.

TPS provided this statement about the incident:

“The unfortunate situation that occurred at Longfellow Elementary two weeks ago involving a family member of a student was handled properly and appropriately by the school’s staff. When the victim was found unresponsive in his vehicle, which was located in the turnaround behind the school, EMS was called;  unfortunately, their life-saving efforts could not revive the victim.

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

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

Aldape added she does not blame any staff for the death of her father and said it's almost better it happened while his car was parked and not while he was driving. She is more so concerned about no one noticing the car there all day.

More local headlines from WTOL 11

Before You Leave, Check This Out