Family’s attorney: Indiana toddler’s death was preventable, blames cruise ship company

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MIAMI, Florida (WANE) The attorney for the Indiana family whose toddler died after falling overboard a cruise ship says they are still in shock. Attorney Michael Winkleman took part in a news conference Tuesday morning.

He believes the tragic accident was preventable. Officials say 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand was with her grandfather in the play area. The grandfather decided to take Chloe to bang on the glass windows like she does at her brother’s hockey games.

“He puts her up on there thinking that she’s going to bang on the glass and it’s going to be great and she goes to bang on the glass and the next thing he knows she’s gone,” Winkleman said.

Police say the grandfather put Chloe on a wooden rail near the windows so she can bang and that’s when she fell from the 11th floor of the cruise ship. The family was on vacation on the Freedom of the Seas Royal Caribbean Cruise in the Caribbean and was docked in Puerto Rico.

“What was preventable here was really I think Royal Caribbean needs to answer this question is why would you ever in a kids play area put windows that passengers can open,” Winkleman said.

Chloe was the daughter of South Bend Police Department officer Alan Wiegand. The attorney said the family is working to bring their daughter back to the United States.

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