Police investigate infant hot car deaths in 2 states

raylee-mercer.jpg: Raylee Mercer

NEW YORK — An 8-month-old Louisiana girl Wednesday was the 11th baby to succumb to hot cars this year, according to a nonprofit that tracks the statistic.

The girl, who family members identified to CBS affiliate WAFB as Raylee Mercer, was the second baby to die in a hot car this week. Authorities in Baton Rouge are investigating.

In central New York, the baby son of a police officer died after being left inside a vehicle Monday, when outside temperatures were around 80 degrees, according to The Associated Press. Oneida County sheriff’s deputies say Rome, New York, police officer Mark Fanfarillo found 4-month-old Michael inside the vehicle Monday afternoon and called 911.

The child was rushed to Rome Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities say Michael was left in his father’s vehicle for an “extended period of time.” Michael’s father, a 10-year veteran of the Rome Police Department, was responsible for watching him at the time. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office is reportedly investigating.

The nonprofit National Safety Council said in a statement Wednesday that the 11 hot car deaths so far in 2016 is above average.

“These incidents have a common theme – a parent or caretaker becomes distracted and forgets the child in the backseat. It can only take a few minutes for a car’s temperature to reach life-threatening levels, and children overheat four times faster than adults,” the organization said. “Cracking windows does not help, and dark cars are not necessarily worse than light cars. Although these deaths are common in warm weather states, they occur across the country.”

No charges have been filed in either case.

Source: MSN News

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