Gilbert mom, first responders warn others about the dangers of hot cars and kids
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It happens every time the weather heats up. Phoenix police officers called out to smash into a vehicle and save a young child left in a hot car. Officers saved a two-year-old last July, But other kids aren’t as fortunate.
Angela Jones is still coping with the loss of her 3-year-old daughter Charly, who died four years ago after being left in a car. Jones and her husband had decided to keep Charly home from preschool, a sudden change in routine that led to Charly being left behind in the back seat of their truck in the family’s driveway in Gilbert.
“We’re all very busy people, you have routine that you do going to work and dropping kids off at school or daycare,” said Jones. “When you are out of the routine, it’s just so easy to go on to autopilot and forget you have a child in the car that wouldn’t normally be there.”
Jones is hoping to prevent similar tragedies. The East Valley mom joined Phoenix police and firefighters Tuesday for a news conference devoted to warning parents and families about the dangers of hot cars in the summer heat. “If you don’t think it can happen to you, that’s why we want to put awareness out there,” said Phoenix Fire Captain Rob McDade. “We want to make sure you are not only protecting your children, but spreading the word to folks in your family, and to friends, that this can happen, and it does.”
Phoenix Fire Captain Todd Keller showed how quickly a car can heat up. In just minutes, a vehicle sitting in the sun got up over 140 degrees. Jones is urging everyone to set a reminder on their phone or put their phone in the back seat, anything to remind them they have a child with them. “My mission is to share Charly’s story so that it could prevent another family from experiencing this,” said Jones.
A Good Samaritan law took effect in Arizona in 2017. It allows individuals to break into a vehicle if they see a child or pet trapped in a hot car. The law states that Good Samaritans would not be subjected to criminal liability as long as they check the vehicle’s doors and call 911 before breaking into a car to save a child or pet.
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