First Hot Car Death of 2014 Reported
A 2-year-old girl in Sarasota has died after her father left her in his vehicle Sunday morning. It's the first death from vehicular heatstroke in Florida this year.
According to the Sarasota Police Department, the child's father, 23-year-old Uriel Hernandez, left her in the vehicle when he went inside to get his cell phone charger. Instead of coming right back out, he fell asleep.
Police said Hernandez did not intend to leave the child in the vehicle. When he came back out five hours later, he found the child unresponsive. The girl was taken to the hospital around 12 pm. She had a body temperature of 106 degrees upon arrival.
The Florida Department of Children and Families had no prior contact with Hernandez or his child, according to Natalie Harrell, DCF's SunCoast Region Communications Director.
Janette Fennell of KidsAndCars.org, a child safety organization, said this case is "just another reason that we should never leave children alone in vehicles, even if you're going inside just to get a phone charger."
Fennell said this is the ninth death from heatstroke in a motor vehicle in the nation this year.
Authorities have charged Hernandez with felony aggravated manslaughter.
--Health News Florida is part of WUSF Public Media. For more health news, visit HealthNewsFlorida.org.