Girl, 3, died in hot car after dad forgot she was buckled in car seat on family driveway

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By James Kay

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A three-year-old girl tragically died in a hot car after her dad forgot that she was in there, with her mom issuing a stern warning to other parents.

Charlotte Jones was in the car for around three hours before her father, Scott Jones, realized his heartbreaking mistake.

Her mother, Angela Jones, recounted the 2019 incident in a recent interview with Fox News Digital.

Scott had just dropped off the couple's other two daughters at school and returned home to start his workday in his home office.

GettyImages-1294295944.jpgCars can heat up very quickly in the sun. Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty

In the rush, he forgot Charlotte was in the backseat.

Angela recalled the moment of realization: "All of a sudden I could just hear a panic in his voice," she said.

"I initially thought she had gotten into the pool or something like that, and then he was like: 'Oh, my God, I don't think I ever got her out of the car.'"

Scott immediately called 911, but despite being rushed to a local hospital, Charlotte succumbed to the intense heat which soared above 98 degrees.

In 2020, Arizona officials announced that no charges would be filed against Scott Jones.

In her emotional interview, Angela described Charlotte as the "sassy one" who was "always making faces, our little ham."

She added: "She was the light in our family, and we are constantly talking about her. We did everything we could to protect our children, and we just never realized that this was a danger until it happened to us."


Angela hopes their story will resonate with other parents.

"I just want it to resonate with other people so they can have a backup plan or do things because this is a preventable tragedy and it can be stopped through your different measure," she said.

She suggested placing something essential, like a wallet, beside the child to ensure they are noticed, and asking daycare centers to call if a child doesn’t arrive as expected.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 40 children die of heatstroke in the United States every year after being left or becoming trapped in a car.

Records show more than 950 children have died in hot cars over the past 25 years, with 56 cases in California alone.

GettyImages-1479130739.jpgThis is not an isolated incident. Credit: Jackyenjoyphotography/Getty

Dr. David Diamond, a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, explained to NBC San Diego that forgetting a child in the backseat is easier than people might think, especially when rushing.

"We have a powerful brain-autopilot memory system that gets us to do things automatically, and in that process, we lose awareness of other things in our mind, including that there's a child in the car," he said.

Children are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat, as their body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's.

Featured image credit: Jackyenjoyphotography/Getty

Girl, 3, died in hot car after dad forgot she was buckled in car seat on family driveway

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

A three-year-old girl tragically died in a hot car after her dad forgot that she was in there, with her mom issuing a stern warning to other parents.

Charlotte Jones was in the car for around three hours before her father, Scott Jones, realized his heartbreaking mistake.

Her mother, Angela Jones, recounted the 2019 incident in a recent interview with Fox News Digital.

Scott had just dropped off the couple's other two daughters at school and returned home to start his workday in his home office.

GettyImages-1294295944.jpgCars can heat up very quickly in the sun. Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty

In the rush, he forgot Charlotte was in the backseat.

Angela recalled the moment of realization: "All of a sudden I could just hear a panic in his voice," she said.

"I initially thought she had gotten into the pool or something like that, and then he was like: 'Oh, my God, I don't think I ever got her out of the car.'"

Scott immediately called 911, but despite being rushed to a local hospital, Charlotte succumbed to the intense heat which soared above 98 degrees.

In 2020, Arizona officials announced that no charges would be filed against Scott Jones.

In her emotional interview, Angela described Charlotte as the "sassy one" who was "always making faces, our little ham."

She added: "She was the light in our family, and we are constantly talking about her. We did everything we could to protect our children, and we just never realized that this was a danger until it happened to us."


Angela hopes their story will resonate with other parents.

"I just want it to resonate with other people so they can have a backup plan or do things because this is a preventable tragedy and it can be stopped through your different measure," she said.

She suggested placing something essential, like a wallet, beside the child to ensure they are noticed, and asking daycare centers to call if a child doesn’t arrive as expected.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 40 children die of heatstroke in the United States every year after being left or becoming trapped in a car.

Records show more than 950 children have died in hot cars over the past 25 years, with 56 cases in California alone.

GettyImages-1479130739.jpgThis is not an isolated incident. Credit: Jackyenjoyphotography/Getty

Dr. David Diamond, a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, explained to NBC San Diego that forgetting a child in the backseat is easier than people might think, especially when rushing.

"We have a powerful brain-autopilot memory system that gets us to do things automatically, and in that process, we lose awareness of other things in our mind, including that there's a child in the car," he said.

Children are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat, as their body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's.

Featured image credit: Jackyenjoyphotography/Getty