Girl, 2, unattended in car dies

By Elizabeth Aguilera
Denver Post Staff Writer

A 2-year-old girl died Saturday after being found in her grandmother's car on a day where the temperature in Denver reached 97 degrees.

The grandmother was babysitting the girl, the girl's 5-year-old sister and a boy whose relation is unknown. The identities of the children and the grandmother have not been released.

This is the first heat-related vehicle death of a child in the area this summer, said Denver police spokeswoman Virginia Lopez.

The child was discovered by a neighbor who was walking through the parking lot at the Jody Apartments, 5375 W. 10th Ave. The neighbor noticed her in a four-door, maroon Buick LeSabre, which had its windows rolled up. The neighbor alerted the grandmother, who retrieved the unresponsive child, Lopez said.

Rescuers were unable to revive the toddler. Police do not know how long the child was in the car, but it got as hot as 97 degrees Saturday, 1 degree off the record of 98 for July 9.

"Due to the extreme temperatures, it appears to be a tragic accident," Lopez said. "But it's
a great time to let everyone know that children, adults and pets should not be left unattended inside a vehicle."

The temperature inside a closed vehicle increases quickly. For example, about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, 9News performed a test with a car while the temperature outside was 96.1. After closing the car for 10 minutes, the temperature inside hit 125.8.

The apartment where the grandmother lives is in an adult community, said neighbors who did not want to be identified.

They said children who are around are usually visiting. The adults living there are mostly single and retired, they said.