Mother speaks out against Heavenly Angels Childcare Center

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by Adam Walser

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 22, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 22 at 6:43 PM

(WHAS11) -- For the first time, we're hearing from a mother of three, whose children were on a day care van the day it crashed and killed one of the adult monitors on board.

The mother says she's had problems in the past with Heavenly Angels, but continued to take her children there because the center here was close to her home and provided transportation.
 
Now, she's hoping the state will step in and not allow another day care center to get away with the repeated violations that happened at Heavenly Angels.
 
Late Friday afternoon, Lavonia Lewars was back at the Heavenly Angels Childcare Center packing up, but she wasn't talking to us.
 
Lewars is not only at the center of multiple investigations, she is also the defendant in a lawsuit filed by Ashley Brown.
 
Brown's three children were among the 16 people in a van which crashed just blocks from the day care last week, killing a monitor and injuring everyone else on board.
 
Brown's youngest child was the most seriously injured, and is still in intensive care.
 
"The most important thing is my children's recovery. We have a long, long road ahead of us," Brown said.
 
Brown says she was shocked when she learned of the day care's repeated violations, including overloading vans, allowing drivers without valid licenses, other accidents and an incident that led to the state revoking the day care's transportation license at another location.
 
"If you took away her transportation license at that one, why did she get another one? I don't know these things. To me it doesn't make sense," Brown said.
 
Brown says she had concerns about other issues at the day care, and she urges others with doubts about their own children's day care to speak up.
 
"I want this to be a lesson across the nation. If you have any question, you see anything, you even have that motherly or fatherly instinct that something's wrong, go with that, because your gut feeling is your first best feeling," Brown said.
 
Brown hopes that the tragic accident that injured her children will also convince the state to pay closer attention to repeat rule violators.
 
In the meantime, she's focused on trying to look after her injured children.
 
"I will make it the best that I can make it, but it's up in the air right now," Brown said.
 
A fund has been set up to benefit the family.
 
People can make donations to the AAA Brown fund at any L & N Credit Union location.
 
 

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