A toddler was left to die in a hot van in Utah by family members attending a family reunion last week, according to media reports.
The 2-year-old was found unresponsive by their father after returning from a religious event, CBS News reported. The name of the child was not disclosed to media outlets.
The toddler is said to have fallen asleep in the coach-style van with other children. According to Fox13, the van was not being driven by the toddler’s parents and was forgotten by the group.
Police told CBS that the death is likely an accident.
“Several families from out of state were attending a family reunion in the area,” Lieutenant David Crouse, in a press conference, told Fox13. He said that five families with about 25 and 35 children were staying in the area.
“The families had traveled to St. George for an activity with the children, using multiple vehicles,” Lt. Crouse said. “They returned to Winchester Hills and prepared for a religious meeting in St. George consisting of only adults.”
Kids and Cars says it is the 16th hot car-related death of 2017, and it’s the 12th in Utah in the past two decades or so, KUTV reported.
In the tragedy, located in St. George, Utah, temperatures soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Our goal is to eliminate these hot car tragedies,” Kids and Cars chief Amber Andreason told KUTV. She added that these deaths are “predictable and preventable.”