Tragedy Strikes in Smithtown as Toddler Dies After Being Left in Hot Car

Suffolk County Police are currently investigating a heartbreaking incident that occurred on Monday, July 31 in Smithtown, where a 54-year-old Greenlawn woman forgot to drop off her 18-month-old granddaughter at daycare while on her way to work.

According to police reports, the child was left in a car seat in the back of the woman's 2018 Jeep Cherokee as she went about her daily routine. Approximately eight hours later, after finishing her workday, the grandmother headed to pick up the toddler from daycare, only to discover the unthinkable – the child had been left in the backseat of the car throughout the day.

Upon the devastating discovery, the grandmother immediately called for help, and the toddler was rushed to Saint Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown. Tragically, despite the efforts of medical personnel, the young child was pronounced dead.

Authorities are reminding the public about the dangers of leaving children unattended in parked vehicles, especially during the hot summer months. It takes just minutes for a car's interior temperature to rise significantly, even with a window slightly open. Studies have shown that when the outside temperature reaches 80 degrees, a parked car can heat up to a scorching 123 degrees.

The incident serves as a heartbreaking reminder for parents and caregivers to remain vigilant about child safety, especially when it comes to transportation. Even a momentary lapse in memory can lead to devastating consequences.

As the investigation continues, Suffolk County Police are urging anyone with information related to the incident to come forward and assist in understanding the circumstances surrounding this tragedy.

This is a developing story, and will provide updates as more information becomes available. In the meantime, it is essential for the community to come together to support the family during this difficult time and to raise awareness about the risks associated with leaving children unattended in vehicles.
[ Return to ]

“Any time there’s a loss of a child, it’s just a very tragic event no matter if it’s by natural means or by accident or by some other means,” he said.