On a Sweltering Texas Day, Tragedy at Elementary School

Boy, 5, dies after being pulled out of hot car in Hidalgo County, Texas
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2022 8:30 AM CDT
5-Year-Old Found in Hot Car at School Dies
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/show999)

Temps in Hidalgo County, Texas, broke the 100-degree mark on Thursday, with a humidity-exacerbated heat index of 105. Those weather conditions contributed to a tragedy outside of a Mission elementary school, where a 5-year-old boy died after being found inside a hot car. Raul Gonzalez, police chief for the La Joya Independent School District, said at a Friday news conference that a 911 call came in just after 4pm local time regarding an unresponsive child discovered inside a vehicle at Dr. Americo Paredes Elementary, on the school's ninth day of the new school year, reports ABC News.

In a statement cited by NBC News, the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office notes that when EMS responders arrived on the scene, they declared the boy deceased. Gonzalez noted that CPR attempts were made, but to no avail. He said that the boy, who was a student in the district, was a relative of a staffer who worked at the school. It's not yet clear what the boy's cause of death was or how long he'd been in the car. "This was an isolated incident," district Superintendent Dr. Gisela Saenz said at the presser, per ABC. "We're providing support to our students and staff with additional counseling services."

This is the 19th child to die in a hot car this year in the US, according to the nonprofit Kids and Cars. KENS 5 reports that Texas is the state with the most hot-car child deaths "by a large margin, with at least 150 child hot car deaths since 1991." Upward of 1,000 children have died in hot cars in the US since 1990, according to Kids and Cars. An investigation into this case is ongoing. Authorities are asking any witnesses with information to call the sheriff's office at 956-383-8114, or the county's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 956-668-TIPS (8477). ABC also offers tips on avoiding such a tragedy. (Read more hot cars stories.)

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