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Virginia man takes own life after toddler son dies in hot car

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 6/29/2022 Cliff Pinckard,

MIDLOTHIAN, Virginia — A despondent father committed suicide Tuesday after he realized he had left his 18-month-old son inside a hot vehicle, leading to the child’s death, reports say.

WRIC Channel 8 reports the Chesterfield County Police Department received a call at about noon Tuesday that a man was at a home and was suicidal. While officers were responding, the department received another call saying a young boy had been left in a vehicle for several hours, CNN reports.

Chesterfield Police Lt. Col. Christopher Hensley tells WTVR Channel 6 that officers arriving at the scene found a vehicle in the driveway. A door was open and the child seat was empty.

The toddler was found dead inside the home. His father was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a wooded area behind the house, WTVR reports.

CNN reports the father had accidentally left the child in the car for at least three hours while he was working. A family member had been called by a daycare center and told the child had not been dropped off, police say.

“At some point in time, it appears the father realized that the child was in the vehicle and then either returned to his residence and took the child inside,” Hensley said. “And then phone calls were made to the police advising us that that situation was going on.”

Temperatures reached the low 80s during the time the child was in the vehicle, reports say.

A report from the National Safety Council says that on average, 37 children die each year from being left in vehicles during hot weather conditions. NBC News reports there have been at least three other recent deaths of children left in hot vehicles.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends that are going to deal with this,” Hensley said. “But we would be remiss in not taking the opportunity for people to take this moment and realize how important it is to obviously check your vehicles as you go through.”

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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