5 year old Virginia boy dies after left in hot SUV for hours amid temperatures rising into the 90’s. No pending charges as Fairfax County authorities continue to investigate how boy was left behind.
The boy, who was not identified, was found unresponsive in a Springfield driveway Tuesday several hours after he arrived home with a parent and other siblings, WJLA reported.
Responding cops performed CPR on the boy before he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Lt. John Lieb of the Fairfax County Police Department said at a press conference.
‘Officers responded here for what was reported as a tragic accident, and at this point, I don’t have any reason to doubt that,’ Lieb told reporters.
The 5-year-old’s siblings got out of the SUV when they returned home, but the boy ‘remained behind’ while strapped to a child safety seat, Lieb said.
Detectives continue investigation
‘The circumstances that led up to that child remaining in the child safety seat are still under investigation,’ Lieb added. ‘Our heart breaks for this family. This is a tragedy.’
Exactly how long the child was left inside the car was unclear, but investigators believe it was ‘up to a couple of hours,’ Lieb said.
‘Detectives will remain open-minded and look at every angle of this case and determine the full facts and circumstances,’ Lieb told reporters.
Heat likely played a factor in the boy’s death, Lieb said, but an autopsy will determine his cause of death. Temperatures in Springfield reached 93 degrees Tuesday, while the heat index in the metro DC area soared past 100, NBC Washington reported.
To date the boy’s death is being considered the result of a ‘tragic accident.’ Police did not intimate any pending charges.
Nearly 900 children have died of heatstroke since 1998 because they were left or became trapped in a hot car, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The agency recommends never leaving a child in a vehicle unattended (even if windows are open and air conditioning is on), making it a habit to check your entire vehicle before locking the door and walking away, asking your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up as expected, and placing a personal item such as a purse or briefcase in the backseat as another reminder to check it before you lock the car.
The NHTSA also advises always keeping car doors and trunks locked so that children can’t get into unattended vehicles.