Child dies after being left in hot car, Vanderburgh sheriff says; father was USI employee

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — A child died Tuesday after being left in a car on the University of Southern Indiana campus, according to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office received a call of a medical emergency around 1:45 p.m. Sheriff Dave Wedding said the child's father, who has not been publicly named, was a USI employee.

The father found his son, described as a young toddler, in the car at USI and went to the USI Children’s Learning Center for help. Major Jason Ashworth of the Sheriff's Office said the child later died.

The Vanderburgh County Coroner's Office was also called to the scene. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Ashworth said the child had been in the car since "relatively early this morning." The child was properly restrained in a child safety seat

Wedding confirmed the child attended the Children's Learning Center, and investigators believe the father left the child in the car "accidentally for several hours."

The investigation is ongoing. The child's cause of death has not been officially determined, though the Sheriff's Office believes heat was a factor.

The high temperature for Evansville on Tuesday was 92 degrees, according to

Temperatures can rise quickly inside a vehicle parked in the sun. The Mayo Clinic reports a car could heat as much as 20 degrees in only 10 minutes.

"Unfortunately, this isn't the only case like this," Ashworth said. "It may not be the last."