The parents of the toddler who fell out of a cruise ship window and died have sat down for their first interview following the tragedy.
Talking to Today’s Savannah Guthrie this Monday, July 22, Kimberly Wiegand and husband Alan Wiegand revealed what they felt when they learned their 18-month-old daughter Chloe had fallen 11 stories from an open window of the Royal Caribbean cruise and died.
"I didn't know that she went out a window,'' recalled Kimberly. "And I just kept saying, 'Take me to my baby. Where's my baby?' I didn't even notice a window. I ran over there, and I looked over, and it wasn't water down there, it was concrete. To lose our baby this way is just unfathomable."
RadarOnline.com readers know Chloe Wiegand’s grandfather Sam was carrying her at the time, and had propped her up against the window, thinking there was glass, so she could look out. Kimberly said the first thing she heard was Sam’s horrified scream when he saw Chloe fall.
"He was extremely hysterical,'' Kimberly said. "The thing that he has repeatedly told us is, 'I believed that there was glass.' He will cry over and over and over. At no point ever, ever has Sam ever put our kids in danger.
"(He's) very, very distraught,” agreed Alan. “You can barely look at him without him crying. She was his best friend."
Chloe’s parents remain devastated over her July 7 death, but they, in no way, blame Sam for what happened; instead, they are holding the cruise company responsible, and suing them for the lack of safety on their ships.
"We obviously blame them for not having a safer situation on the 11th floor of that cruise ship. There are a million things that could've been done to make that safer. I know my mom was asking people, 'Why on earth is there a window open on the 11th floor without a screen or anything?'" said Kimberly.
She said the ship crew told her the window was open because they needed ventilation.
“'Get a fan. Come up with some other mechanism to make your guests comfortable, rather than creating a tremendous safety hazard that cost our child her life,'" said the heartbroken mother.
When asked if they believe the company should be held responsible in court, Kimberly said "I think that they have to be. This cannot happen to another family."
"There's no doubt this was an accident," the family's attorney, Mike Winkleman, said. "Really the singular question is, were there safety measures that could have been in place and should have been in place? If they were in place, again, there would have been no tragedy."
Royal Caribbean wrote in a statement to Today: "We are deeply saddened by this incident, and our hearts go out to the family. We have assisted the authorities in San Juan with their inquiries, and they are the appropriate people to address further questions."
Radar readers know the family was vacationing in Puerto Rico when the disaster occurred. The island's Department of Justice told NBC News that since the investigation is in its advanced stages, it cannot make any further comments.
Now, three weeks after Chloe’s death, Kimberly, Alan, Sam, and the rest of the family are trying to move on, but the impact it’s had on everyone is immense.
"There was one point where my son said, 'Mom, I wish I would've been standing there because I would've jumped, and I would've saved her,'" Kimberly said. "That tore me because I know that he believes that. And to know he's living with that, it's just so hard."