CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It has happened again. Another child left to die in a hot car. This time, in Texas this week. A five-year-old boy died after being left in the car for hours. It happened near Houston. The Harris County Sheriff say his mother forgot her son was in the car in the family’s driveway, while she was distracted by preparations for her 8-year-old daughter’s birthday party. Temperatures in the Houston area hit about 100-degrees Monday.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says, “She’s excited trying to get things together. And unfortunately this time the child did make it out. And, and again, with the busyness of the activities that they were preparing for, it took a while for them to notice that that the child wasn’t in the house.” He continues, “We believe this is a rental vehicle. So perhaps the child wasn’t as familiar with it. The door did not have any kind of child safety lock enacted or anything like that. So obviously immediately they called for EMS to come out here and, and obviously to no avail, the child was pronounced deceased.”
The sheriff says the child may have been in the car for up to three hours.
Remember the hot car child death case in Georgia where the father was accused of being a sexual deviant who left his child to die so he could sext women he met online? This week, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that that information should have been left out of the trial. It overturned Ross Harris’ murder conviction.
Harris’ attorney also argued that his client’s sex life had nothing to do with the love he had for his child. The director of a nonprofit dedicated to kid and car safety agrees, saying even if Harris wasn’t a good husband, that doesn’t make him a murderer. Kids and Cars Safety Director Amber Rollins says, “This does happen to loving responsible parents.” And, “Criminalizing that actually further complicate our job of trying to help families understand that this could happen to them.”
Kids and Cars Safety says that on average, 39 children die in a hot car-related death each year in the U.S.
Some research suggests that anyone could accidentally forget their child in a hot car.
Our question of the night: do you think this could happen to you?
This episode’s panel features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB TV’s Zach Aldridge