Florida sheriff uses video to warn parents about hot-car deaths
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood took the time to publicly thank a good Samaritan on Facebook Wednesday.
In a post on the sheriff’s office page, the law enforcement official is sitting in the driver’s seat of his patrol car and talks to the camera, telling followers about a harrowing incident that went down in Orange City on Tuesday.
“We avoided a disaster,” he says.
A woman by the name of Jessica Kaiser noticed what appeared to be a doll in the backseat of a Nissan Rogue outside a mall.
She soon realized the doll was a human, 8-month-old baby boy in a car seat.
The temperature outside was reportedly 93 degrees, the window was up, and the car was off.
Emergency responders were called and the baby was OK.
“Twenty four minutes after the 911 call was received the mother came out from one of those stores,” said Chitwood.
Video then shows the mother crying and asking, “Is he OK?” You see the mother hugging Kaiser, who say, “You’re welcome.”
The mother, whom ABC News identifies as Meagan Burgess, 33, was arrested for child neglect; Chitwood says she told investigators that she thought she had dropped off the baby with the father.
The sheriff’s video is part shout-out and part public service announcement, advising all parents and legal guardians to be mindful of their charges.
“I challenge anyone, an adult, to sit in their car for 24 minutes at 3 o’ clock in the afternoon with the sun blazing down and see what the end result would be,” he says. “Parents, stay on top of your game. That little life is depending on you.”
In the video, the mother says, through tears, that she is a nurse and she has heard of other people leaving their kids in cars, but can’t believe this happened to her.
According to KidsandCars.org, Florida’s 89 car heatstroke deaths ranked second since 1992. Texas saw 120.
Last Friday, a mother left her 17-month-old baby boy during her shift at a Pembroke Pines hospital. The child died.