Jury Finds Father Guilty of Toddler's Death After Leaving the Child in a Hot Car
The case involving a father and the death of his two-year-old son finally came to a conclusion when a Georgia jury found the father guilty of murder. In June 2014, the father left his toddler in a hot car for seven hours while he was working, leading to the young boy's death. On that same day, the father was "sexting" with multiple women, one of whom was a minor. The father was not only found guilty of murder, but was also found guilty of child cruelty, and three counts relating to text messages with underage women.
The father claimed the entire incident was an accident, and that he forgot his son was in the car. He claimed that he accidentally did not drop his son off at daycare as he was supposed to, and instead left his son in the car while he worked. Regardless of whether or not the father truly forgot about his son, the fact remains that the child was neglected and vulnerable on a very hot day in Georgia.
Leaving a Child in a Hot Car – The Risk of Heatstroke in Children
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), heatstroke suffered in vehicles is the leading cause of non-accident-related deaths for children fourteen and younger. More than half of child heatstroke deaths occurred in situations where the child was forgotten. Georgia is one of the states with a higher incidence of heat-related deaths for children three years and younger, and a great majority of the heat-related deaths are suffered by children younger than three years old. This makes sense given that infants and young children are at an increased risk of suffering heatstroke than adults.
Leaving a child in a hot car for even minutes can result in serious injury or death. A child can also suffer heatstroke in a car with temperatures as low as 57 degrees, which may come as a surprise. Additionally, children can suffer heatstroke in a car even if the car is parked in a shaded area or the windows are rolled down. Moreover, a seemingly cool day will not necessarily prevent a child from getting heatstroke if left in a car without the ability to get out.
Preventing Heatstroke in Children
There are numerous ways in which parents, siblings, and caregivers can prevent children from getting fatal heatstroke by being left in a car. A few common sense things that can be done include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Never leave a child unattended in a car;
- Do not allow children to play in a car by themselves so that they understand that they should never be alone in a car without a parent or caregiver;
- Always look inside a car before closing and locking your door; and
- Write a note on a post-it and place it in your car to remind yourself to always check the entire car before exiting.
Routine and habit are the best way to ensure a child will not be forgotten in a hot car. One small mistake can end the life of a young child in an instant. No parent or child deserves to suffer such a fate.
Contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries following any accident that may have been caused by negligence, you should consider speaking with a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney at Montlick & Associates as soon as possible. There are a variety of ways in which someone can suffer debilitating and sometimes fatal personal injuries. Our firm has more than 37 years of experience providing legal representation to injured victims and their loved ones from all across Georgia.
Whether you have suffered personal injuries as a result of an auto accident, workplace accident, dog bite or attack, among many others, our Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys have the necessary skill and resources to provide you with the information and guidance you need to move forward. To schedule your free consultation to speak with one of our attorneys, contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law today by calling (800) LAW-NEED (529-6333). You may also visit us online at www.montlick.com to complete a Free Case Evaluation Form, and you may also participate in a 24-hour Live Online Chat.