Afternoon Newsletter

Child dies after consuming cleaning solution

A two-year-old Merced boy is dead after consuming a strong caustic cleaner used to clean aluminum rims by accident on Friday, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. when Jack Shearer was playing at his grandparents shop in the 1000 block of Childs Avenue in Merced.

According to spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie, the boy became thirsty so his grandmother gave him a bottle of water she found on the floorboard of her husband’s truck.

The bottle actually contained a strong cleaning solution, and the child started choking.

The grandfather realized the child had ingested the cleaner and called 911 — but ended up driving the child to Mercy Hospital, MacKenzie said.

Shearer was transported to Children’s Hospital in Madera where he was pronounced dead.

MacKenzie said detectives believe the incident to be nothing more than a tragic accident, after conducting an investigation with the family.

The child will be brought back to Merced to resume the investigation.

No charges are expected to be filed at this time, MacKenzie said.

-- Ramona Giwargis