Texas boy, 4, dies in hot car after entering vehicle while playing in driveway of home in 95-degree weather
A four-year-old boy lost his life over the weekend after wandering outside a Texas home and climbing inside a hot car that was parked in the driveway.
The boy was reportedly found unresponsive in the vehicle Saturday evening around 6:30 pm, according to law enforcement in Wichita Falls. Adults in the house noticed he was missing and began searching for him, eventually discovering him in the vehicle. The child, who cannot be identified due to legal reasons, was rushed to a hospital but pronounced dead despite the doctors' best efforts.
The boy had wandered outside the home and entered the said vehicle, KWTX reported. Temperatures in Wichita Falls reached 95F on Saturday, meaning the temperature inside a hot car would have crossed at least 140F if the child was in the vehicle for over an hour. The death is currently being investigated and the adults who were looking after the boy at the time are still facing no charges.
According to KidsAndCars, Texas ranked first in the United States for hot car deaths since 1991, recording at least 137 of them. The boy's death is the second hot car death to be recorded in Texas this year. The first hot car death in the state and in the country this year was reported in April, claiming the life of a four-year-old boy in Tomball.
That said, at least ten hot car deaths across seven states have been recorded this year. KidsAndCars has urged parents to keep vehicles locked and keep their keys away from the reach of children. It also encouraged parents to check cars immediately if a child is missing and teach kids how to honk in case they are unable to exit a vehicle.
Earlier this month, murder charges against an Oklahoma father who was accused of leaving his two young children to die in his hot truck were dismissed because of a recent landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported that Dustin Lee Dennis, 31, had been jailed after the bodies of his two children, 4-year-old Teagan and her younger brother 3-year-old Ryan, were found in the footwell of his truck last month.
On June 13, a day that temperatures reached 90 degrees, Dennis told authorities he had driven to QuikTrip along with Teagan and Ryan and then returned home before falling asleep for four to five hours. He claimed he woke up and realized his children were missing, and then found them unconscious inside his truck. He said he took them to the living room and called paramedics, but life-saving measures proved ineffective. They were declared dead the same day.
And in May this year, a man convicted of leaving his toddler son to die in a hot car for hours was granted the right to appeal for a new trial, nearly four years after the original conviction. Justin Ross Harris was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the June 2014 death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper Harris, who had died after he was left sitting in his father's sweltering car for nearly seven hours. The case had made national headlines and had to be moved to Brunswick, Georgia after it was determined that he could not get a fair trial in Cobb County because of the publicity.