Have you ever forgotten your phone? When did you realise you’d forgotten it? I’m guessing you didn’t just smack your forehead and exclaim ‘damn’ apropos of nothing. The realisation probably didn’t dawn on you spontaneously. More likely, you reached for your phone, pawing open your pocket or handbag, and were momentarily confused by it not […]Read more
Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime?
By Gene Weingarten March 8, 2009 The defendant was an immense man, well over 300 pounds, but in the gravity of his sorrow and shame he seemed larger still. He hunched forward in the sturdy wooden armchair that barely contained him, sobbing softly into tissue after tissue, a leg bouncing nervously under the table. […]Read more
Thursday, June 30th 2016, 4:58 pm CDT By Rachel DePompa, Reporter, WWBT NBC12 News
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The loss of a child is unimaginable, but what if it was an accident you, the parent, could have prevented?
25 children died last year from being accidentally left inside a hot car. As the temperatures soar this summer, a grieving father has a powerful message for you.
Richie Gray has to live with a terrible reality each day. He mistakenly left his 1-year-old daughter Sophie inside a hot car.
He shares his family’s heartbreak in the hopes of helping another parent from making this same tragic mistake.
Gray usually picked up Sophie from daycare, but on a May morning in 2014, he was supposed to drop her off. In his mind he did – until he received the call that changed his life forever.
“She said the daycare said Sophie didn’t show up today. Immediately I thought she was kidding,” said Gray. “I raced to the car and that was it.”
Sophie had been inside his vehicle for nine hours.
The temperature that day had soared to 93 degrees. Gray tried performing CPR, then fell to his knees, asking God to take him instead.
“It’s horrible – for me, the worst thing that could ever happen,” said Gray. “She was awesome, she was perfect.”
Gray was charged with neglect, but Sophie’s death was eventually ruled an accident. An accident he says is impossible to comprehend.
“There’s a million different things, at least a thousand of which had to happen in order for it to happen,” said Gray.
Everything from running late that day to Sophie falling asleep in the car seat, to the break in his routine – he normally picked her up from daycare.
“About 90% of the time, it happens to otherwise wonderful parents, and of course on that day, they make the worst mistake of their life,” said Janette Fennell.
Fennell heads up KidsAndCars.org – a national organization that tracks child vehicle accidents. Every year, on average, 37 children die in hot cars. The largest percentage of those children are under a year old.
“Children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than that of an adult. They have a very immature respiratory system, so they aren’t able to sweat out enough to keep their bodies cool,” said Fennell.
Vehicles can heat up as much as 20 degrees in the first ten minutes. Rear-facing car seats make it difficult to see your child, especially if they fall asleep.
But a large factor in these cases is that break in a routine. Fennell describes it as “misremembering,” or operating on autopilot. Neuroscientists believe the part of your brain that stores habit simply overrides – which is why visual cues are so important.
KidsAndCars.org suggests putting your cell phone or employee badge in the backseat, or keep a stuffed animal in the car seat so you have to move it to the front seat every time you put your child in when you get in the car. It will serve as a reminder.
“I told her that I would make this right, and that’s what I’m trying to do,” said Gray.
It’s still a daily struggle, but he believes her story has the power to save others. That faith – and Sophie’s spirit – gets him through.
“I’ve got an angel now, and she’s waiting on me,” said Gray.
Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reservedRead more
June 20, 2016 6.05am EDT Author: David Diamond Professor of Psychology, Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, Director, Neuroscience Collaborative Program and Center for Preclinical and Clinical Research on PTSD, University of South Florida Shutterstock. CC BY-SA I have been studying the brain and memory since 1980, but I was baffled when a news reporter asked me in 2004 […]Read more
6/9/16, Huffington Post As we focus on child safety tips this summer, one of the most dangerous incidents happens in something we use everyday: a car. 37 children die every year from being left in a hot vehicle in easily-preventing accidents. Vice President of Kids And Cars Susan Auriemma gives us an in-depth look at […]Read more
5/16/16, Cars.com 2016 GMC Terrain Denali Cars.com photo by Angela Conners CARS.COM — Backup cameras are more than just a cool feature: They can be lifesavers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is making those cameras mandatory, and for good reason: The agency wants to help prevent the 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries caused each […]Read more
I’ve never met Wade Naramore, the suspended circuit jodge from Garland County who’s pleaded innoicent to negligently leaving his 17-month-old son, Thomas, to die in superheated car last July.Read more
Parents who fear the judgment of neighbors if they leave their kids alone at home or in a car may soon have more than a “tsk tsk” to worry about in Rhode Island.Read more
Keyless ignition vehicles are increasingly popular and don’t require a key to turn off the engine. Critics say drivers often forget to push a button to turn off the vehicle, leading carbon monoxide to flood into the home and kill those inside without warning.Read more
Some 21 people have died since 2005 when they accidentally left their cars running. Our Consumer Team examines the hidden dangers of keyless ignitions.Read more