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Utah boy, 9, with intellectual disability dies after being left in hot car

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 3:27 AM MDT
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AMERICAN FORK, Utah (KSTU) - Police are investigating the death of a 9-year-old boy from Utah. He was found unresponsive in a hot car outside a business that works with intellectually disabled children.

Staff members at Roost Services, which provides care to people with intellectual disabilities, noticed the unconscious 9-year-old boy inside of a car outside the business Wednesday afternoon. They got the boy out of the car and inside the building while calling for help.

Emergency personnel provided first aid to the boy, but the measures were unsuccessful, police say. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police believe the 9-year-old, who had a disability and was in Roost’s care at the time of his death, was inside the closed-up vehicle for nearly two hours. He had been driven to the facility by a Roost staff member.

“The vehicle was turned off, the windows were up and the doors were locked when he was found,” said Lt. Josh Christensen. “The temperatures at that time here, outside temperatures were in the high 90s – 97, 98 – and so, you can imagine the temperatures in a vehicle are going to be well, well above 100.”

Police are trying to determine why the boy was left inside the car and why he was unable to get out.

“It’s definitely difficult. Any time there’s a child involved in anything, it makes things different than simply with an adult, but especially a circumstance like this, it’s very difficult for everybody,” Christensen said.

Christensen suggests leaving a cell phone, shoe or wallet in the backseat with a child to serve as a reminder to look in the back before getting out of the car.

Police say Roost is cooperating with the investigation into the boy’s death. It’s possible that charges could be filed, even if the incident is determined to be accidental.

Copyright 2021 KSTU via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.