ANOTHER toddler has met a tragic end, but her family is denying that negligence resulted in the death of three-year-old Shazade Simon, of Williamsville.
The family is also denying social media reports that the child fell into a boiling pot of lentils last Wednesday at the nearby home of her grandfather, Wendell Lazar, where he also runs a fruit and vegetable stall.
Lazar said he was making a soup for his only grandchild, at her request.
He had a pot on a firecracker on the ground and was boiling the lentils to make the soup. After kneading flour for the dumplings, he went to wash his hands at the makeshift sink in the stall. He said he called his daughter, Andelle, Shazade’s mother, to pour water on his hands, as there was no running water.
At no time was the child unsupervised, he said, and there were other people in the stall. But in the blink of an eye, his “Princess,” who may have been following her mother, apparently stumbled onto the pot.
He said his back was turned to her, so he did not see what happened, but it appeared she tried to break her fall and her hand, and the peas would have fallen on her back and buttocks.
Being closest to her, he said when an immediate alarm was raised he grabbed her, put her in water, went out in the road, flagged down a car and took her to the San Fernando General Hospital, where she was admitted.
Showing the Newsday the pot he used, he said there was no way the child could have fallen into the pot and remained there for any length of time before she was found.
He said she had been recovering nicely, and had been talking, laughing and singing in her hospital bed.
“She was due to be discharged from the hospital on Wednesday. But on my way to the hospital to see her around 1 pm (on Monday), I got a call that she died.”
He said the family is baffled by her death.
“We don’t know if it’s the burns or something else that caused her death,” one of her aunts said.
Shazade attended the Mayo Pre School. She and her mother lived at Hillcrest Drive, Morne Roche, Williamsville.
Child Protection Unit police are investigating.
On Sunday, five-year-old Damarie Jeffrey, a first-year student of La Brea RC School, drowned at a birthday party for his cousin, at Fun Splash Water Park, Debe.