Infant rescued from locked truck

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: A Graham County Sheriff’s Office deputy rescued an infant from a locked truck Sunday afternoon by utilizing his duty-issued unlock kit. On average, 38 children die in the U.S. each year from being left in a hot vehicle.

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY – A Graham County deputy rescued an infant from a locked vehicle Sunday afternoon. 

According to a Sheriff’s Office report, the deputy was dispatched at about 3:21 p.m. to an address on 20th Street after a woman called requesting assistance in unlocking a vehicle. 

The woman advised that she had accidentally locked her keys inside her truck with the infant inside. She said she attempted to unlock the truck for about 5 to 10 minutes prior to calling County Dispatch for help.

The responding deputy utilized his unlock kit and opened the truck. The infant was then evaluated by paramedics from Lifeline Ambulance at the scene before being released with no further action required. 

According to the National Safety Council, 33 children died while left in a hot vehicle nationwide in 2022. So far in 2023, there have been 19 reported deaths. On average, 38 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle. 

In both 2018 and 2019, a record number of 53 children died each year after being left in a hot vehicle. As a state, Arizona has had a total of 43 deaths in such fashion since 1998. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises that 53% of the deaths occur because someone simply forgets a child is in the vehicle. Parents are advised to always check the back seat before locking their doors. Never leave a child unattended in a parked vehicle and always lock your doors so children cannot get inside – this includes in your garage at your residence. 

See a child alone in a vehicle?

If you see a child alone in a vehicle, make sure the child is okay and responsive. If not, call 911 immediately. 

  • If the child appears to be okay, attempt to locate the parents; if at a public place, have the facility page the car owner over an intercom system. 
  • If the child is not responsive and appears to be in distress, attempt to get into the car to assist the child—even if that means breaking a window. Many states have “Good Samaritan” laws that protect people from lawsuits for getting involved to help a person in an emergency.

Remember: Kids and hot cars can be a deadly combination. Don’t take the chance. Always check the front and back seat of the vehicle before locking the door and walking away. Help spread the word on social media, #HeatstrokeKills #CheckTheBackSeat. – Source NHTSA