HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - An Ashland mom is facing a felony charge, after police say her nine-year-old son spent part of Mother's Day alone, locked inside a sweltering car. The little boy is now out of Megan Toomey's custody, taken by child protective services and put in a family member's home.
Police responded to a shopping center on Bell Creek Road, after a passerby called 911, late Sunday afternoon. The person reported a boy acting distraught, left alone inside a parked car.
Investigators say the Toomey, 31, left her child in the car for about 20 minutes, while she went into stores in the strip mall. The child was locked in the car, sweating profusely and from seat to seat, trying to find relief. The windows were barely cracked.
Sunday's high was in the 80s. But officials tell me on an 80 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach up to a hundred degrees within about ten minutes.
Kacie Jones works at a nearby store. Jones says she saw police in the parking lot.
"We noticed that a cop flew by us and parked ten or fifteen feet away," said Jones.
Police say the boy was afraid to get out of the car, worried he'd set off the alarm. When officers arrived, the mother was already back at the car. However, police say the boy needed medical attention.
"It was pretty hot outside, so that could have done some damage," continued Jones.
Hanover Fire and EMS was called in, however the boy was ultimately okay and didn't need to go to the hospital.
Toomey was arrested, charged with one count of child neglect. No one answered the door when NBC12 knocked on Toomey's door for a comment.
Toomey is out of jail and is scheduled to appear in Hanover County Juvenile and Domestic court on May 21st.
The scenario is unfortunately not uncommon. Emergency crews routinely respond to calls for children left in cars, some of those have sadly turned deadly.