Child dies in hot car in Ridgefield

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Police in Ridgefield say a child has died after being left in a hot car, but police aren’t saying much about their investigation. Sources tell News 8 the 15-month-old boy’s father forgot the child was in the car. Something those who’ve made the mistake before warn is all too easy. Word of this tragedy spread fast through Ridgefield.

“To hear it happen in our own town is devastating,” said Kelly Harris, Ridgefield. And police are keeping tight lipped. “I am not going to be answering any of your questions,” said Capt. Jeff Kreitz, Ridgefield.

Capt. Jeff Kreitz, Ridgefield Police Department.
Capt. Jeff Kreitz, Ridgefield Police Department.

What Captain Kreitz would say is around 6 Monday evening Danbury Hospital called police saying a 15-month-old boy died.

Police say the child was left in a car, alone, for a long time. The father discovered him and rushed him to the hospital. Sources say he meant to drive him to daycare on his way to work, but forgot he was in the car.

“We would like to offer our condolences to the family who lost their child,” said Kreitz. It’s a terrible scenario Barbara Baughman knows. “Closed cars don’t breathe, check your seats before you leave,” said Baughman. She almost lost her granddaughter this way 13 years ago when they were moving. “About forty five minutes into unpacking we realized she was still in the car,” said Baughman.

Now it’s her mission to pass out these out to create awareness. “It’s very and sometimes it’s very easy for it to happen,” said Baughman. Looking at 9-month-old James, Kelly Harris can not imagine it happening and hopes it never happens to another family. “Just slow down in life, take it easy, and cherish the time you have with your children. Other things can wait,” said Harris.

Police have not said whether or not charges will be filed. They are waiting on the medical examiner to determine cause of death. Connecticut state police processed the scene, state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said, but Ridgefield police are in charge of the investigation.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” Ridgefield police said. A national non profit kidsandcars.org issued this statement that says in part:

“Although we are not sure about the circumstances with the tragedy yesterday in Connecticut… kidsandcars.org knows that even the most loving, responsible parents can unknowingly leave a child in a vehicle.” Nationally this is the 16th death this year.

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