Mother questioned after 1-year-old found dead in car after work, deputies say

Girl's death marks 2nd hot car fatality on Friday in Central Florida

A 1-year-old girl left in a hot car at a Seminole County gas station Friday afternoon has died, hours after another child died in a similar incident in neighboring Orange County.

The child in the second hot-car incident of the day in Central Florida was found at 4:40 p.m. at a Sanford Wawa location on State Road 46, according to the Seminole County Fire Department.

Investigators say the girl was found deceased in the back seat.

Late Friday, sheriff's spokesman Bob Kealing said it appears the mother left the child in her car while she was at work.

He said investigators were questioning the mother on Friday night, and their findings would be turned over to the office of the state attorney for possible prosecution.

Temperatures set records in Sanford for the third day in a row Friday with a high of 96 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne. The previous record was 94 degrees on this date.

About two hours earlier in neighboring Orange County, a 4-year-old boy was found by a bystander at 2:25 p.m. in a locked vehicle that was not running, which was parked at Elite Preparatory Academy, deputies said. He later died after being taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, according to officials.

Thirty-seven children die each year as a result of being left in a hot car, according to the National Safety Council.

Car manufacturers have been working on technology solutions to prevent hot car deaths. Learn about some of those options here.

Central Florida emergency room physicians demonstrated earlier this year how dangerous hot cars are for children. Read what they said about preventing these incidents here.

A vehicle parked in the sun for one hour reaches an average cabin temperature of 116 degrees. To put those numbers into perspective, it only takes a core body temperature of 107 degrees Fahrenheit for cells to be damaged and internal organs to begin shutting down.

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About the Authors:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.