Coroner: Boy died of heat stroke after wandering into car

By Tammy Brown Published: May 20, 2014 at 12:21 AM PDT

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- Coroner's investigators have ruled the death of a pre-schooler an accident.

The boy died May 3, 2014, four days after being found in his car-seat in the family car outside his home in east Bakersfield.

The coroner's summary indicated the severely autistic boy wandered away from his grandparent's supervision and climbed into the family car. That happened April 29, 2014.

According to his grandparents, 4-year-old Fernando Velasquez was found in the car shortly before 5:30 that afternoon and had trouble breathing so he was taken to Kern Medical Center. They told Eyewitness News the boy was treated for heat sickness and seemed to be doing well. By their accounts, he was walking and talking. At some point he was transferred to Memorial Hospital where he later died.

An autopsy was done May 5 and on May 19 the coroner issued a news release that said the death was found to have been caused by heatstroke, the manner of death was ruled accidental.

"The high on Tuesday April 29th was 87. It hit 93 the next day, though," said Eyewitness News Meteorologist Miles Muzio.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that many heat stroke deaths have occured during what would be considered relatively mild temperatures because a car's interior heats up quickly in the sun.