As the summer temperatures rise, so do the numbers of child deaths. The summer months bring dangers that should not be taken lightly.
Among those dangers is the blistering heat of a parked car. Spend any amount of time in a parked car that is sitting in the sun, and you will quickly understand.
Imagine being trapped in a car that was quickly rising in temperature and having no way out. Some children have that terrifying experience as a result of their parent’s carelessness.
A retired police officer saved the day when he was walking through a Kohl’s parking lot and overheard Sarah Mazzone, 30, of Howell, yell, “Oh my God!” Upon further investigation, his fears were confirmed.
An infant was in a locked car with all of the windows rolled up on an 80 degree day. With the sun beating down, the temperature of the car continued to rise.
Steve Eckel knew he had to act fast to save the baby. He could see that she was really suffering in the car.
The poor baby’s face was bright red, and things were only going to get worse if Eckel didn’t come up with a plan, quickly. “She was sweating, crying, eyes rolling back,” he remembered.
As soon as Eckel remembered that he had a sledgehammer in his car, he knew that was the tool he needed to use. He ran to his car to retrieve the hammer.
He smashed the window and grabbed the baby from the car seat. Eckel carried the baby inside the store so she could cool off in the air conditioning.
The retired cop is so grateful that he was able to save the baby’s life. “I do believe in guardian angels, and I think I’m the one for this child,” he said.
The infant’s mother was identified after she left the store and went to her car. She was arrested for endangering the welfare of a child, and her baby is now safely in the care of her father.