Video: Mother Locks Girl in Hot Car, Police Officer Shatters Window to Save the Baby

August 14, 2019 Updated: August 14, 2019

Newly released video footage shows a Florida police officer smashing a car window to save a baby who was accidentally trapped inside.

The girl’s mother, Christina Tufford, said that she mishandled her remote and locked the car with her keys inside. Her 10-month-old daughter was in the car, too.

“The A/C was running, but I knew I only had a matter of minutes before the vehicle shuts off,” Tufford told CBS 12.

She tried calling here expired Onstar service, and tried a tow truck driver, but neither could assist getting into the car immediately. Even the police officer who responded could not find the window punch tool he usually uses at times like this.  The situation became dire.

“She was kinda lifeless and you could see the sweat beating off of her,” Tufford noticed.

Kyle Osinga, the responding Stuart police officer, told WPTV, “I check on the kid a little bit later and the kid is not okay anymore. The head’s down and the eyes are closed. That’s when the adrenaline, that’s when I start to freak out.”

Osinga used his baton to try breaking the window, when a woman ran up with a window punch. He used it to shatter the glass.

The moment was captured on bodycam footage.

“Very lethargic, Wasn’t breathing good, I happened to have a whole thing of water bottles, poured water on her,” Tufford said.

police car siren
A police car in a file photo. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

Children Heatstroke Deaths

According to Kids and Cars, 132 children died from nontraffic fatalities in 2018. Of those, 52 died from heatstroke. The data was for children 14 years old or younger.

“These data vastly underestimate the true magnitude of non-traffic fatal incidents involving children,” the group stated.

According to the No Heat Stroke organization, 32 child vehicular heatstroke deaths have taken place so far this year and 829 have taken place since 1998.

In an examination of the causes of the deaths conducted by the group, it was found that 54 percent of the deaths stemmed from a caregiver forgetting the child. Another 26 percent of deaths came after a child gained access to the car on their own, while about 19 percent of the deaths came after they were knowingly left by a caregiver in the vehicle.

Cars are seen in a parking lot in Palm Springs, California on April 13, 2015. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

The U.S. National Safety Council said that caregivers can be aware of the deaths and take action. “Parents and caregivers can act immediately to end these deaths. Even on relatively mild days, temperatures inside vehicles still can reach life-threatening levels in minutes, and cracking the window doesn’t help,” the council stated on its website.

“The National Safety Council advises parents and caregivers to stick to a routine and avoid distractions to reduce the risk of forgetting a child. Keep car doors locked so children cannot gain access, and teach them that cars are not play areas. Place a purse, briefcase or even a left shoe in the back seat to force you to take one last glance.”

Jan Null, a San Jose State professor and former meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told SFGate that the temperatures inside vehicles heat up rapidly, with the air rising about 19 degrees over whatever the outside temperature is in the first 10 minutes and rising another 10 degrees in the next 10 minutes.

What’s more, Null said the bodies of small children heat up three to five times faster compared to adults. “So, while you and I could be in a car that’s, say, 109 degrees, an infant or small child would be to the point of entering heat stroke,” he said.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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