A 5-year-old boy died of heatstroke after he was left in the back seat of his mother’s car in the sweltering heat in Texas, according to reports.
The child, identified by the Daily Mail as Trace Means, died on Monday when Amanda Means, 36, left the child in the back seat of a car outside her home while preparing a birthday party for her sister.
The temperature climbed to 100 degrees that day.
According to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Means returned home with her two children, who were sitting in the back seat of her car and thought Trace was watching By the time his sister jumped out, he was already out.
Two or three hours later, she realised Trace was gone and ran outside to find her son still strapped to a child safety seat in the back of the car. Gonzalez said the mother told police her son usually knew how to unbuckle his seatbelt and get out of the car, but he died in a borrowed car.
She was not charged in the tragic incident, but the sheriff’s office is still investigating.
According to the Daily Mail, Amanda Means is currently divorcing her husband, 48-year-old Steve Means.
Just a day before Trace’s death, Steve Means was with his son on Father’s Day, the newspaper reported. His lawyer said that while the father was devastated by the loss of his son, he hoped Trace’s mother would not face criminal charges for what appeared to be an accident.
“Steve is a man on his feet. He’s in tears and out of control, but the last thing he wants to do is get Amanda criminally punished. She’s been through enough,” attorney Gary Bullock told the newspaper.
“He knew she was their mother and whatever happened, it wasn’t on purpose. All he wanted to do now was make sure his daughter was okay and everyone could start recovering,” he added.
Meteorologist Jan Null, who has been tracking such deaths since 1998, said Trace was the fifth child in the United States to die from heat stroke this year.
His death was also the second such fatal incident in less than a week after a 3-month-old infant died last Thursday after being left in a hot car for hours in Pennsylvania.