Phoenix mom whose daughter died in hot car pushing for safety legislation

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Dawn Peabody's 2-year daughter, Maya, died in a hot car a few years ago. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dawn Peabody's 2-year daughter, Maya, died in a hot car a few years ago. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The 2017 Hot Cars Act would require car manufacturers install an alert system that would notify drivers if there's a child left in the back seat. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The 2017 Hot Cars Act would require car manufacturers install an alert system that would notify drivers if there's a child left in the back seat. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: KidsAndCars.org) (Source: KidsAndCars.org)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The pain never goes away for Phoenix mom Dawn Peabody, who knows exactly what two Valley families are going through after two small children died recently after being left in hot cars.

Peabody's 2-year daughter, Maya, died the same way a few years ago when a family member lost track of the child. The toddler was still in the car.

"Every time I hear it my heart just drops to my stomach," said Peabody. "This is going to destroy their family, their community, their close people around them. This family is never going to be the same."

[READ MORE: Baby boy found dead in hot car; 2nd hot car death in two days]

[READ MORE: 7-month-old boy dies after being left in a hot car in northeast Phoenix]

Since Maya's death, Peabody and her husband have made it their mission to educate others that these kinds of tragedies can and do happen to good, responsible parents.

"I can't tell you how many times I forgot on my way home that I've got to get milk," said Peabody. "I open the fridge the next morning and see that I didn't get milk. We just misremember, and sometimes, unfortunately, the thing we misremember is the most important thing."

Peabody is now working with the non-profit group KidsAndCars.org in support of new national legislation that would better protect children from hot car related incidents.

[RELATED: Mother whose daughter died in hot car now advocates for child safety]

The 2017 Hot Cars Act would require car manufacturers install an alert system that would notify drivers if there's a child left in the back seat.

"My car will tell me if I left my gas cap off and if one of my tires is low," said Peabody. "But if I forget the most precious thing in my life - it does nothing. It just acts as an oven."

[RELATED: Child advocates urge back-seat alarms as 2 die in Arizona]

[RELATED: Valley man on a mission to end hot car deaths]


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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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