Kendrick Engram 3 year old Columbus Georgia boy dies after left in 90F hot car for for 2 hours & 45 mins. Child found dead in backseat during run to Wendy’s.
Officials believe the boy, Kendrick Engram Jr., had been in the car for about 2 hours and 45 minutes by the time he was pronounced dead Sunday evening, Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan told ABC News.
The temperature reached in 90s on Sunday.
Kendrick had spent Sunday with his grandmother and three sisters, Bryan said, and they arrived home at about 5:30 p.m.
‘Everyone went in the house except the little boy,’ Bryan said. ‘The grandmother went into the bedroom, the other children went into the kitchen area to eat. Then the children were in and out, playing … just like kids do.’
‘The children are innocent’
‘At about 8:15 p.m., the grandmother called out to the children and asked about a headcount,’ (finally …), at which point the 3 years old’s lack of whereabouts was suddenly realized, Bryan said.
Also at about 8:15 p.m., the grandmother’s son — the children’s uncle — borrowed the grandmother’s car (how did he miss not seeing the boy in the vehicle…?) to drive to Wendy’s, Bryan said.
The uncle was inside the Wendy’s when, at about 8:30 p.m., the grandmother called and asked if he had Kendrick, Bryan said. The uncle said no, and she asked him to check the car, Bryan said.
The uncle went out to the car where he found Kendrick unresponsive, and he called 911, Bryan said.
The toddler was pronounced dead around 9 p.m. that night.
‘Just be aware. Just be aware. If you’re an adult, be responsible,’ Bryan said. ‘The children are innocent. They can’t help themselves and when you have a child that puts the responsibility on you.’
The coroner said his office plans to rule Kendrick’s death heat-related.
‘It doesn’t just happen to bad parents…’
As of Tuesday, it remains unclear if the family will face charges for the three-year-old’s death.
The infant’s death marks the seventh child to die in a hot car in the U.S. this year, according to national nonprofit KidsAndCars.org.
Since 1998, 913 children have died in hot cars. In most instances, they were forgotten by a parent or caregiver. Every year an average of 38 children die due to child heatstroke in the U.S. according to noheatstroke.org.
Click here for tips on how to keep children safe from hot cars this summer.