An Indiana community is mourning the loss of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand, who died after a tragic fall on a cruise ship while on vacation with her family.
According to Fox News, little Chloe was traveling with her parents, two siblings, and both sets of grandparents aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship which had docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Chloe was reportedly with her maternal grandfather when she allegedly fell through a window that had been left open in the children’s play area on the 11th floor of the ship.
While initial reports alleged that Chloe’s grandfather had been holding her out of the window and lost his grip when she fell, the family’s attorney, Michael Winkleman, reported otherwise.
In a statement reported by WSBT, Winkleman explained that in a room filled with glass windows, a single window had been left open, blending into the row of closed windows. Chloe’s grandfather lifted her up onto a wooden railing to look out the window, believing it to be closed.
“Chloe’s grandfather was playing with her in the kid’s water zone. Chloe wanted to bang on the glass like she always did at her older brothers hockey games. Her grandfather thought there was glass just like everywhere else, but there was not, and she was gone in an instant,” Winkleman stated.
Winkleman believes the cruise ship company is to blame.
“The family needs answers as to why there would be an open window in a wall full of fixed windows in a kids’ play area? Why would you have the danger without any warning, sign, or notice? I think there is going to be blame, and significant blame, on the cruise line, and I will do everything I can to hold them accountable for what appears to be negligence.”
The family will reportedly remain in Puerto Rico while the incident is under investigation.
Meanwhile, the Indiana community is offering sincere condolences to the family who is grappling with the loss of their baby girl.
Chloe’s father, Alan Wiegand, is an officer with the South Bend Police Department in Indiana. The department issued a statement about Chloe’s tragic death, asking people to pray for the family.
— South Bend Police (@southbendpolice) July 8, 2019
“The South Bend Police Department offers its sincerest condolences to Officer Alan Wiegand and his family during this difficult time following the tragic loss of their child while in Puerto Rico. The department asks the community to pray for the entire Wiegand family as they grieve and to respect their privacy,” the department wrote.
Royal Caribbean Corporate Communications Manager Owen Torres told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, the company is cooperating with local authorities.
“We are assisting local authorities in San Juan, PR, as they make inquiries after an incident aboard Freedom of the Seas on Sunday,” Torres stated. “We do not have further information to share at this point.”
Our hearts go out to the family during this tragic time.
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