A 7-month-old baby girl, Chloe Fogarty, in Dundrum, Tipperary Town, Ireland, is dead after her father reportedly left her in the backseat of a hot car for several hours, according to the Mirror. It was alleged that Chloe’s mother, Louise, had just returned to her HSE job after being on maternity leave when her husband, Paul, offered to take their daughter, the couple’s only child, to daycare.
At around 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 25, Chloe’s father strapped the child into her car seat before taking off. It was reported that Paul received a phone call while driving and he became distracted, causing him to forget that his daughter was sleeping in the backseat. Instead of driving to her daycare center, he did what he normally did every morning, which was to drive to his job at O’Dwyer Steel, recognized as one of Ireland’s and the U.K.’s leading suppliers of CE certified structural steel and cladding, in the village of Dundrum where he worked as a foreman.
After parking his vehicle on the village’s main street, close to the plant, he went to work, forgetting his daughter in the hot car where temperatures reached 77 degrees. When Paul returned to his vehicle during lunch time, around 1:45 p.m., he found Chloe unresponsive in the backseat. Emergency medical services arrived at the scene a short time later and treated Chloe before she was transported to the University Hospital Limerick by an air ambulance.
Chloe’s recently married parents, who were making plans to build a house for their family, rushed to be by her side, hoping that she would survive after being left in a car on what has been called “the hottest day of the year.” However, a Garda spokesperson confirmed that Chloe was pronounced dead around 5 p.m.
A local medical examiner, Dr. Marie Cassidy, conducted an autopsy at the University Hospital Limerick, but it has been suspected that Chloe died from a heat stroke after being left in a hot car for several hours. According to Jan Null, a lecturer in meteorology and climate science at San Jose State University, there has been over 700 heat stroke deaths of children since 1998.
The death of baby Chloe Fogarty has caused huge shock and sadness in the community https://t.co/qgOrrk05UC— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) May 26, 2017
Dr. David Diamond, a neuroscientist at the University of South Florida, says that “it was incomprehensible that parents would do this unknowingly until he studied the phenomenon in depth… such forgetfulness results from competition in the brain between our habit memory and our prospective memory, with the habitual winning out.”
An announcement was made online, which stated that relatives will gather at the family’s home between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to say their final goodbyes to Chloe. Hundreds are expected to attend a private burial service that will be held on Monday at 11:30 a.m. at St. Nicholas’ Church.
“Chloe is sadly missed by her heartbroken parents, grandparents Helen and Christy McInerney, and Mai and Joe Fogarty and the extended McInerney and Fogarty families,” the announcement continued. “Communities in Tipperary are still struggling to cope with the tragedy — indeed the heart-breaking incident has saddened people throughout the country.”
Fianna Fail councilor Roger Kennedy called the child’s hot car death “awful,” adding that “the whole area is in shock and there is total sadness here. Hot conditions would have made it more difficult for the child in the car.”
He went on to say that “they are a very nice, very respectable family and it’s just a complete tragedy. I’m sure the whole community will rally around the family.”
Although police officials are calling Chloe’s death a “tragic accident,” they will be conducting an investigation to uncover the circumstances leading up to the incident. Chloe’s father is not expected to face any criminal charges following his daughter’s hot car death.
[Featured Image by Galinast/iStock]