CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An employee at a West Virginia residential care facility lied about checking on a 13-year-old boy before the youth stole a van and died in a crash in March, a state investigation found.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the state Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification investigation found that on the night of the boy’s death, a staff member wrote on his sleep chart that Jeremy Bush was awake an hour after the employee actually ended her shift early.

Investigators said the faked chart made them question the validity of other documentation completed by staff at the Woodward Children’s Home in Charleston. The home is operated by Louisville, Kentucky-based ResCare Inc., which often provides care for people with physical and mental disabilities.

Police said the van the boy was driving crashed into a retaining wall and burst into flames. The state report said the boy also escaped the facility twice in the months leading up to his death.

It also found that staff members lost the keys to the van a few days before the boy’s death, and that the keys reappeared the day of his death.

Although vehicle keys are required to be placed in a lockbox, the report found staff members at times failed to follow procedure. An employee stated the facility’s vehicles in the driveway stayed unlocked, and one vehicle was found unlocked two days after the boy’s crash.

While employees are supposed to document daily activities, they failed to complete a form each time they left or returned with a child or vehicle, according to the report.

As a result of the investigation, the facility’s residential manager will now make random visits and monthly safety meetings will be held to identify ongoing issues.

Citing privacy concerns, a ResCare spokeswoman declined comment to the newspaper on whether employees at the facility were disciplined.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.