Monsey, NY – A day camp was fined the maximum by the Board of Health today for failing to properly supervise a 12-year-old girl who left the camp unnoticed and was hit by a car and killed last summer.
Rabbi Mitchell Chill, director of Camp LaRuach, housed at Beth Rochel School for Girls at 145 Saddle River Road, told the board that – contrary to what other camp staff said soon after the accident – there had been an adequate number of counselors on hand the day Leah Ausband was killed.
The girl, who turned 12 the day before she has died, left the camp at the end of the day without anyone noticing. She went to her brother’s house, then was attempting to get back to the camp when she walked in front of a van driven by a Spring Valley man. The van struck her and ran her over. The child, died soon after. No charges were filed against the driver.
At previous hearings, health department inspectors told the board that the girl’s mother said she warned camp staff the day before the accident that Leah might try to leave camp to visit her brother.
At today’s meeting, Rabbi Chill blamed the child for the accident that led to her death.
But inspector John Stoughton said that Wolper, the camp’s assistant director, told him the day after the accident – and several other times last summer – that only she and four other counselors were on duty at the time for the camp.
The Rabbi’s lawyer said that Wolper was too upset to attend the board meeting.
The board rejected the camp’s arguments and fined the camp the maximum allowed under the county’s health codes, $3,000. [The Journal News]