South Carolina

Deputy smashes car window to save baby at Walmart, SC cops say. It was 99 degrees out

Why do children keep dying in hot cars?

The temperature inside a car on a sunny day can easily surpass the outside air temperature.
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The temperature inside a car on a sunny day can easily surpass the outside air temperature.

A deputy smashed the window of a car to rescue a baby outside a South Carolina Walmart, according to multiple reports.

The baby was locked in the car, which was off and did not have the air conditioning running, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office told WPDE. A special operations deputy got the call and was on the scene within two minutes to rescue the 1-year-old girl, according to the TV station.

The call came in just before 6 p.m Tuesday, deputies said, when it was 99 degrees in Florence with a 102-degree heat index, according to WMBF.

The deputy pulled the baby from the car and was able to start cooling her off before an ambulance arrived, WMBF reports.

The baby is expected to be OK, WPDE reports.

Deputies told WBTW the baby had been locked in the car “for at least 10 minutes” while the mother was in the Walmart.

Deputies arrested the mother, 38-year-old Jennifer Renee Wise, WBTW reports.

Jail records show the Effingham woman is charged with unlawful neglect of a child.

Seventeen children have already died from being left in hot cars in the United States this year, according to the National Safety Council.

“On average, 38 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle. Nearly every state has experienced at least one death since 1998, and in 2018, a record number of 52 children died after being left in a hot vehicle,” the National Safety Council said.

Sarah Oropeza grabbed whatever she could find to break a window and save a toddler trapped in a sweltering car. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.