Virginia child dies after being left in hot car
GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico County toddler died Wednesday after being left in a hot car in Goochland County.
Deputies said 17-month-old Riaan Gondesi's father left him in the car which was parked in the uncovered deck of a parking garage at the Capitol One campus West Creek Business Park.
The call came in just after 12:30 p.m. from the child's mother. The mother was contacted by her son's daycare after he was not dropped off. The mother called the boy's father who had left him in the car seat.
The dad arrived at work around 9:30 a.m. and apparently forgot to drop him off at daycare.
Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew said the father was cooperative and said he had simply forgotten to drop the child off at daycare.
Both the child's father and mother called 911 at nearly the same time to report the child in distress.
"The mom had been contacted about 10 minutes earlier by the daycare wondering where her son was and if she intended to drop him off," Agnew said.
The Richmond Metro area was under a heat advisory Wednesday. Agnew said he estimated the temperature of the car was in excess of 120 degrees, but could not definitively say. By the time sheriff's office officials arrived, the doors of the vehicle were open and the air conditioner had been turned on.
"I have trouble wrapping my arms around what happened," Agnew said. "I pray to god this wouldn't happen again."
The boy is believed to have been in the car alone for approximately three hours.
Crews arrived at the scene and attempted to revive the boy. Agnew said security for the Capital One office building were the first on scene. CPR was performed to try to revive the child, but he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Capital One released a statement that said, "This is a tragic situation and every parent's worst nightmare. Our deepest thoughts and concerns are with the family."
Agnew said the child's body was taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy and to determine the cause of death.
Parents said the only way to prevent a death like this is to be vigilant.
"I have the AC running in the car right now. When it's this hot, you just can't leave it in the car." Hopler said. "Just terrible. I mean, terrible."
Several people expressed disbelief over how a situation like this can happen.
"Really just how?" resident Dena Brooks said. "Not placing judgement on anyone, but just how as a parent this could happen."
According to kidsandcars.org, Virginia is 10th in the nation for child hot car deaths, and this was the 31st death nationwide. In May, 4-month-old twins died after they were left in the back of a SUV in Chesterfield.
"I don't even know if there is a way to make manufacturer's thing on the car seat that would warn parents and give them a tip and the kid's alarm would go off," Tammy Edwards said. "How tragic that is. It seems to happen a lot."
Charges have not been filed in the child death, and an investigation is ongoing.
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