Pennsylvania could mark its 13th hot car death after four-year-old found dead in York County

York

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — An autopsy took place Thursday morning after a 4-year-old boy was found dead outside a home Tuesday afternoon in East Manchester Township.

Official documents noted the child was found unresponsive in a family member’s closed, parked vehicle. Police are actively investigating the incident but say excessive heat could have been a factor.

“When our officers were dispatched, the temperature was over 90 degrees outside,” said Bryan Rizzo, Northeastern Regional Police Chief. “So for any vehicle that would be closed up, you’re talking anywhere from 120 to 150 degrees inside of a closed vehicle in heat like that.”

The child’s official cause of death has yet to be determined but activists say the incident would mark the 13th hot car death in Pennsylvania.

According to Kids and Car Safety, the state has gone without any reported fatalities since 2016.

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“The unfortunate reality is that this has happened to even the most loving, responsible, and attentive parents,” said Janette Fennell, Pennsylvania resident and president of Kids and Car Safety. “Over 1,000 U.S. children have died in hot cars since 1990 and underscore the importance of adding detection technology to vehicles to end these unthinkable deaths.”

On May 12, 2021, the “Hot Cars Act of 2021” (H. R. 3164) was introduced to the House of Representatives in an attempt to reduce the number of deaths and injuries of children being left unattended in vehicles.

The bill would require all new passenger vehicles to be equipped with a system that detects an “unattended occupant in the passenger compartment and engages a warning to reduce death and injury resulting from vehicular heatstroke, particularly incidents involving children.”

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