A 3-year-old Indiana girl has died after being left in a car for hours, authorities said.
Hannah Grace Miller was found inside of a vehicle that was parked on West 10th Street in Anderson on Sunday evening, June 3, reported Fox 59.
The little girl had been inside the car for around two hours, authorities said. “That’s something that we’re still looking into, that’s part of our investigation,” Anderson Police Department Major Joel Sandefur said.
Miller’s father discovered her inside the car and started performing CPR, but Hannah was pronounced dead upon arrival at the St. Vincent Regional Hospital at 6:40 p.m. on Sunday.
The Madison County coroner said that the cause of death was acute heat exhaustion and overheating.
It’s unclear if the father will face charges.
“We’re just going to go into and let the evidence lead us and direct us in the direction that we need to go at this point,” said Sandefur.
According to the website Kids and Cars, Indiana has had 11 deaths from children left in hot cars since 1997. On average, each year 37 children left in cars die.
According to a study from researchers at Arizona State University and the University of California San Diego, interior temperatures in a vehicle left in the sun on a 95-degree day in Arizona heated up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit in just an hour, while the seats heated to 123 degrees.
A vehicle in the shade reached 100 degrees in interior temperatures and the seats registered at 105 degrees.
“These tests replicated what might happen during a shopping trip,” said Nancy Selover, an Arizona State University climatologist and research professor. “We wanted to know what the interior of each vehicle would be like after one hour, about the amount of time it would take to get groceries. I knew the temperatures would be hot, but I was surprised by the surface temperatures.”
Authorities said the best prevention is for parents to make sure not to leave their children in the vehicle. One recommended method is putting important things in the backseat so parents are compelled to grab those when leaving vehicles and grabbing their children at the same time.
“It’s sad when this happens so all we can do is push this awareness out there to make people stop and just think for a second to do things to remind them that the child’s in the backseat, car needs to be locked and take those safety precautions,” Wayne Township Fire Department Captain Michael Pruitt said.