Destyni Triplett left her 18-month-old son alone in a car while she took an exam in a nursing school, the Daily Mail is reporting. The crying baby was found strapped in his car seat by a security guard, who worked where Triplett was writing her exam. Destyni Triplett left the car engine running, doors unlocked and the air conditioning turned on.
Police charged the 19-year-old mother with reckless conduct. The mother who expressed remorse for the incident said she had made arrangements with a babysitter, who canceled at the last minute. She also pointed out that the baby’s father was also meant to help watch the boy, but he did not turn up.
Police Sergeant Forrest Bohannon was far from impressed with the excuses Destyni Triplett gave for leaving her child in a car, considering the number of hot car deaths that had been recorded in the country.
“It was very dangerous for the child. Anything could have happened. It was a dangerous situation for the child to be left alone at a year and a half in the vehicle.”
Fortunately, the boy was only alone in the car for roughly 15 minutes before he was noticed by the eagle-eyed security guard. Police say the air conditioning that Triplett left running also helped to prevent the car’s interior from heating up quickly.
Bohannon said the move hindered the situation from spiraling into something much worse.
“The child was fine when we got there. The car had been running with the air condition on, so it hadn’t gotten that hot yet.”
Triplett still maintains custody of the boy, and despite being charged, Triplett says she’s a good mother. She has pledged to keep at her nursing school because she needs to provide for her child.
“Looking back, I would have definitely taken him in with me to the nursing school, but I wasn’t thinking and I made a terrible mistake.”
This year alone there have been more than 27 child hot car deaths and more than twice that number in near misses. Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, a national child safety nonprofit organization located in Philadelphia, said the numbers of 2016 had already surpassed last year’s total of 15.
The latest death was Dillon Martinez, a six-month-old boy who had been left all day in an SUV by his father. The boy’s father had parked his SUV in a San Antonio parking lot in Texas, forgetting to drop off his son at daycare as he arrived at work 6:15 a.m. He returned to his vehicle after work around 3 p.m., his son was dead.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration information collated by the San Jose State University, the number of child car deaths spiked after automobiles began introducing passenger-side airbags in the 90s.
The increase in airbag related deaths of children prompted parents to start buckling them in car seats behind, but as air bag fatalities reduced, the number of hot car deaths increased.
Fennell revealed that heatstroke car deaths have gone up ever since, with a record 49 children dying in 2010. According to Fennell, “when children are strapped into the back seat, drivers tend to forget them.”
She advised that parents needed to start mustering the habit of opening back doors as soon as they exit their vehicles. Fennell also recommends leaving a cellphone or purse in the back seat and having day care centers call if a child does not turn up.
Twin 15-month-old girls, Ariel and Alaynah North, died after being left in the back seat of an SUV in Georgia. Their father had entered the home and forgotten them inside the car; temperatures were up to 90 degrees.
Brittany Borgess was charged for involuntary manslaughter and related offenses last Thursday for leaving a four-year-old girl, Samaria Motyka, in a hot car.
Detectives say the 28-year-old woman, who was in a relationship with the girl’s father, dropped off her two-year-old son at day care and her seven-year-old daughter at school, but took the four-year-old to work because she was running late.
She returned to her car after work to an unresponsive girl. Temperatures had soared to 97 degrees that particular day. A court affidavit revealed that Samaria Motyka’s body temperature was at an astonishing 110 degrees.
Destyni Triplett is soliciting for $500 to pay her son’s daycare expenses, so that she can face school squarely and look for part-time work.
[Image via GofundMe]