(ABC NEWS) – A 3-year-old died in San Antonio on Saturday after being left in a hot car — the sixth such death in Texas and the 43rd in the U.S. this year, according to an advocacy group.
Last year, with 54 reported deaths, was the worst on record, KidsAndCars.org said in a statement. Since 1991, Texas ranks first nationally with 131 such fatalities.
Police believe the child’s parents, after arriving home from a 6-year-old sibling’s T-ball game, may have been distracted, with one thinking the other had removed the toddler from the vehicle.
“One parent thought the other parent had grabbed both of the children, and, in fact, only the 6-year-old had been taken out of the car,” said Lt. Jesse Salame of the San Antonio Police Department. “By the time they realized it several hours had passed, and when they got the child out of the vehicle he was not responsive.”
The 3-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, ABC San Antonio station KSAT reported.
Investigators are looking into the matter further, “but but there’s no way that this was anything more than just an accident,” Salame added. “They were in a hurry or they got distracted, and that very literally could happen to anybody, and that’s probably the most tragic thing of it all.”