A one-year-old girl recently died while aboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, and her family recently spoke out about the tragic accident.
Chloe Wiegand was playing in the children’s play area on the cruise ship when she fell 11 stories onto a concrete dock in Puerto Rico. Initial reports of the accident had said Chloe fell out of grandfather’s arms, but the family is disputing those claims, according to a recent Today Show story.
The family’s attorney, Michael Winkleman, shared with Today that her grandfather had put her on the ledge of a window in the children’s play area. Chloe’s grandfather was unaware the window was open.
“Essentially her grandfather lifts her up and puts her on a railing and where he thinks that there is glass there because it’s clear, but it turns out there was no glass there,” Winkleman told Today. “She goes to bang on the glass like she would have at one of those hockey rinks, and the next thing you know, she’s gone.”
Winkleman told Today that the family believes Royal Caribbean is responsible for the accident. “Why in the world would you leave a window open in an entire glass wall full of windows in a kid’s area?,” Winkleman said. “I mean, why would you have that kind of a hidden danger without any warning, without any sign, without any notice?”
Royal Caribbean provided a statement to People, saying it is “deeply saddened” by the accident.
Police investigating the tragic accident aren’t so sure. According to a recent Newsweek report, police aren’t ready to rule out homicide charges. “There are various possibilities,” said Sgt Jose D. Sanchez, acting head of the San Juan Police Department’s Homicide Division. “It could be a homicide. It could be a murder. It could be an accident. “We are currently in the very early stages of the investigation. We haven’t ruled out any possibility.”
A funeral service for Chloe was held on Monday, July 15.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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