In an instance of unimaginable heartbreak, this week Louisiana authorities have launched an investigation into the death of an 11-month-old baby. The baby was left in his father's vehicle for several hours in hot weather.
According to CBS News 19, the father was supposed to drop off his son at daycare before going to work. He only realized he had forgotten to drop off his son at daycare on his way to work, when he got a call inquiring about the boy's whereabouts several hours later.
Upon realization, the father rushed his baby to the local Women's and Children's Hospital. He arrived at 4:54 p.m. on Monday, June 25, however, his son was pronounced dead at 4:55 p.m.
The 11-month-old child was reportedly in the car for almost six hours.
KATC reported authorities believe this was an accidental occurrence. The father did not normally drop his son off at daycare, usually the baby's mother did this during the family's morning routine.
"In these circumstances as we know now, dad did not intend for this to happen," said Capt. Kip Judice with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office.
"The father realizes the baby is in the truck and takes him immediately to Women's and Children's where within minutes the baby is pronounced dead. A person of perfect health probably couldn't survive that," said Judice.
According to The Town Talk, investigators confirmed the exterior temperature was 99 degrees Fahrenheit, and the temperature inside the car would have been much higher.
Earlier this month, a Louisville, Ky. baby tragically died under similar circumstances. In that case, the 8-month-old boy was in his car-seat all day as his father was at work; he also had forgotten to drop his infant off on the way to work.
At this time the father's name has not been publicized, and while the investigation is ongoing, at this time no charges will be filed.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicular heatstroke is the most common non-crash related fatality involving children 14 years and under; statistics are placed at 61 percent. It also noted 33 children in the U.S. died last year after being left in unattended motor vehicles. The agency also reported KidsandCars.org cites approximately 54 percent of cases occurred because an adult forgot or didn't know the child was in the car.
There are several other incidences in recent news where parents have left their children in cars. To raise awareness, the group Exploited Children's Help Organization (ECHO), is trying to spread a simple message: "Look before you leave."
"Heat stroke occurs when body temperature exceeds 104 degrees. A body temperature of 107 degrees is considered lethal," said Suzanne Sturgeon, a volunteer for ECHO.