May 24, 2024
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By Staff report

According to the Berkeley County Coroner, a baby died on August 25 when her mother left her in a car that was locked outside Bishop England High School. The temperature inside likely reached 100 degrees.

A 16-month old toddler was found in a Subaru SUV that had been parked in the parking lot of the school, in front the main entrance. According to Berkeley County coroner Darnell Hardwell, a passerby found the child unresponsive in her car-seat and immediately called 911.

He said that the mother of the baby works at school. She arrived there between 7:30-8 a.m.

Hartwell stated that “the mom worked here at the school and the child had been forgotten in the vehicle.”

The girl’s tragic death was described by him as an accident. Hartwell believes that the infant died from heat. An autopsy is to be performed at MUSC.

In such conditions, he said that a child would only be able to survive for “minutes”. I am confident it was at least triple digits in that car during peak hours today.

The Bishop England High School is an independent high school that falls under the Catholic Diocese Charleston. The diocese will release a press statement.

Early in the evening, small groups were hugging each other and weeping outside of the brick church next to the school.

Mindy Jose placed a white bouquet near a tree where the SUV was parked around 6:30 pm. She said that she had been picking her son up from junior-varsity football when she heard about the death of a child.

Jose said, “I saw kids texting and crying.” As a mother, my heart breaks for this family. “It’s so tragic.”

Hartwell stated that the investigation by officials is just getting started. He said that in addition to conducting an autopsy and interviews, Charleston Police and the State Law Enforcement Division would also present their findings at the solicitor’s offices.

According to Noheatstroke.org, there have already been 19 deaths of children from vehicular heatstroke in the U.S. by 2023. According to the group, there had not been any reported cases in South Carolina for this year. The group also reported that there were no such deaths in South Carolina last year.

Hartwell asked that everyone show empathy towards the family.

He said, “This family needs prayers and your support.” Most importantly, this family needs privacy and respect during these difficult times.

His message was also for the parents in his area.

He said, “Sometimes it’s easy to get busy.” We just have to pay attention and slow down.

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