Toddler Left In Car Tuesday Taken To Hospital, Pronounced Dead

September 12, 2018 15:47 pm · 71 comments

An 18-month-old girl who was inadvertently left in a car by a family member on a warm Tuesday afternoon in Moraga has been pronounced dead, according to police Chief Jon King.

Police and firefighters responded to a medical call in the first block of Hardie Drive around 3:50 p.m.

The dispatcher reported that there was someone screaming and crying on the other end of the line. Police arriving at the scene found the child to be unresponsive, not breathing and they began rescue-breathing until
paramedics with the Moraga-Orinda Fire District could take over.

The girl was transported to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek and was pronounced dead.

Investigators believe the child was accidentally left in the vehicle by a family member who immediately called for help after finding her.

At the time, the temperature outside was roughly 80 degrees, according to police.

The official cause of death is still under investigation, pending the results of an autopsy.

“We’re basically still in the process of looking through things and interviewing people and figuring out exactly what occurred,” King said this afternoon.

ZZ September 12, 2018 at 3:54 PM

Oh how very sad. So heartbreaking. Prayers to the family.

Jerry September 12, 2018 at 4:08 PM

So tragic…

Shiloh September 12, 2018 at 4:15 PM

So, so, so sad 😞

Obvious George September 12, 2018 at 4:22 PM

ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!? FORGOT THEM? anyone who does this desserves the death penalty

Marylou September 12, 2018 at 9:38 PM

Deserve. (It only requires 1 s)
And no one deserves the death penalty. Try living with the horror of knowing what you have done. Now that is a lifelong sentence.
Unless you’re a heartless serial killer.

SDNick September 13, 2018 at 7:29 AM

If you sincerely believe that, I encourage you to read the Pulitzer prize winning article from the Washington Post entitle Fatal Distraction ( It will open your eyes as to what really leads to this horrible and tragic situation. Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely the occasional narcissist that deliberately does it, but that’s by far the exception. Usually it’s just a poor parent or family member whose routine was broken on one tragic day. I’m fairly confident that given the choice, most parents who have experienced this tragic accident would gladly trade their lives for their child’s if given the option.

Rollo Tomasi September 13, 2018 at 8:34 AM

Maybe we should leave them in the middle of the dessert.

old-school guy September 13, 2018 at 9:06 AM

I never leave in the middle of dessert. Especially if it’s chocolate.

What The ?? September 13, 2018 at 2:45 PM

Assuming this was an accident, and by the report it appears to be, what would killing the person solve? Punishment is to prevent people from doing something INTENTIONALLY, it won’t stop accidents. I

Amazing how little people think, I mean what could that possibly accomplish?

Pat September 12, 2018 at 4:31 PM

I’m sorry but if you put your child in the car just a while earlier how do you forget he or she is there when you arrive at your destination? I always find this hard to believe.
RIP little one.

Selkie September 12, 2018 at 5:49 PM

The only thing I can thing of is people are creatures of habit. You don’t always have your kids with you and if they fell asleep in the back and it’s quiet they may have been on auto pilot/distracted and forgot that they were there and went about their errands. Some people are more forgetful than others and you don’t get to choose how your mind works when you’re born. These are the only reasons I can think of as to why that would happen.

MrDioji September 12, 2018 at 6:10 PM

Have you had an 18-month old recently? It is incredibly exhausting. And they are usually very noisy. If they fall asleep and are quiet while you’re on a non-routine trip with them, I could see this happening. This is horrifying. Scary that it was “only” 80 degrees.

ClayDen September 12, 2018 at 6:13 PM

My thoughts exactly.

Led September 12, 2018 at 8:59 PM

And yet it hapoens. Instead of being incredulous, spend five minutes googling and reading an article on this. Everybody is a creature of habit. Everybody does much of their daily routine on autopilot. Every parent has had that moment where they realize all of a sudden they haven’t seen the kid for a few minutes when you thought they were right there. It can happen, and does happen, to good people. That’s why it is important to understand why, so you can take preventive steps like building a check or Fail-Safe into your car routines, putting one of your shoes by the car seat, etc. If you think it just couldn’t happen to you, you’re wrong.

Citizen September 13, 2018 at 9:45 AM

This was a tragic accident by broken routine! How can most of you blame this very sad tragedy as any other situation? There are now actions set in place to avoid this! Prayers go out for the entire community and most of all the parents. They say when ever you leave your car you make a quick check to see if your car is empty of kids and or pets. I cannot imagine how that poor toddler must have suffered. This almost so disturbing to think about. Let this be a lesson
for all of us! So so sad.

Cowellian September 13, 2018 at 11:18 AM

Most of us don’t need a lesson, or extra technology, to know not to leave our babies in a car. And we don’t need people trying to excuse the inexcusable or put the blame on anyone except the person who left the child in the car to die.

Ridgewalker September 12, 2018 at 4:50 PM

So terribly sad. Horrible all the way around.Really Obvious George..the death penalty..smh…

Anonymous September 12, 2018 at 4:50 PM

Sadly, the parents knew where their child was. With a family member. Most likely a family member who is not used to having a toddler that needs to be escorted to and fro. My heart breaks for everybody involved. Parents are not meant to bury children.

Rest in peace sweet baby.

Leilani September 12, 2018 at 4:51 PM


Nutcreek Frontier September 12, 2018 at 4:52 PM

From the new articles, sounds like it wasn’t the parents, but another family member not used to the routine. Ghastly for the family…would be hard to forgive the loss of your precious child.

WCRes September 12, 2018 at 4:52 PM

I will NEVER understand this.

Max September 12, 2018 at 4:59 PM

So sad! How could anyone forget a child? It may have been a family member who doesn’t usually have a child with them, and the child is sleeping in the back seat. It is heart breaking.

debdvo September 12, 2018 at 5:05 PM

This could have been a grandma or someone else it doesn’t say parent. But yes a feature on cars would be nice that when you start the car a baby button illuminates and if you push it a reminder will come on when the car is put in park again.

Cindy September 12, 2018 at 9:29 PM

That is an excellent idea. A baby button. Much like if you turn off the car and your lights are still on or your keys are in the ignition or something. Maybe if you turn off the car a tone starts singing and a voice says “remember the baby”. It would keep doing that until the car seat is unbuckled.

Dave September 12, 2018 at 5:11 PM

Will “they” ever LEARN

Mika September 12, 2018 at 5:13 PM

The relative who killed this baby will have to live with this lapse of jud cement FOREVER. My sympathies to the parents. So sad.

So Sorry September 12, 2018 at 5:19 PM

It happens nationwide at least 20 times a year. It was almost unheard of before air bags when the front passenger seat was a popular place to put a baby so the driver could keep an eye on him/her. Most cases happen when there’s a change in routine and the driver is distracted by other tasks/errands/work/etc.

So Sorry September 15, 2018 at 11:56 AM

East Bay Times quotes a group called that tracks child deaths in hot cars. This little girl was the 46th victim this year, the third in California.

54% happen because caregivers forget the child is in the car. 27% happen when the child crawls into the car and locks themself in and no one knows where they are. 18% happen when the caregiver purposely leaves the child in the car, thinking it’s safe.

A Mom September 12, 2018 at 5:22 PM

Don’t be quick to judge. You don’t know who the family member was. It could have been a grandparent who doesn’t have a small child in their car as a routine. If the child falls asleep, it’s very easy to go into auto-pilot if it’s not part of your routine.

ChuckStir September 12, 2018 at 5:33 PM

From a newborn till a child knows right from wrong almost all accidents are the fault of an adult. Most are unintentional and most are preventable. I feel for the parent who let this happen and would hope that anyone reading this article that it will remind them of the care entrusted to them raising a child.

Deb September 12, 2018 at 5:38 PM

My heart goes out to this little girl may she rest with the angels.. to the adult who “forgot and left her in the car” screw you ! You dont have a child in the car and just forget they are there !! What is wrong with people, you freak out if you lose your cell phone but forget a child in the car????? This needs to stop ! enough is enough !

Atticus Thraxx September 12, 2018 at 5:39 PM

I just don’t get it. You have one job and one job only…

Boycott The Circus September 12, 2018 at 5:56 PM

I truly do not understand how, not once during the day you don’t think about your child and where that child may be. I get it, trust me I do. I have three kids. It did happen to me. I thought my husband grabbed our daughter and my husband thought I grabbed our daughter from out of the car, but we get back to the hotel and right away we noticed neither one of us had her and we went straight back to the car to go get her. I guess it is true, people check there phones way more then they check on there kids. Either way, very sad. I could never imagine losing my kids.

Em September 12, 2018 at 5:56 PM

This is so tragic, and sorry but NOT AN ACCIDENT, it’s negligence on the part of the family member.

Aunt Sue September 12, 2018 at 6:26 PM

So sad😔. Rip little one.

TraumaRx September 12, 2018 at 6:27 PM

Criminal negligence is warranted.

CTownKid925 September 12, 2018 at 6:32 PM

Wow what a P.O.S!!!😤😤😤….How do u forget a baby in the car!!!👶 I hope it haunts u in ur sleep to who ever was with the baby!!!! R.I.P BABY

Neighbor September 12, 2018 at 6:50 PM

My new car has a back up camera, side mirror alerts, brakes automatically, even a picture of a coffee cup shows up on the dash if I start swerving… Why can’t auto manufacturers install mandatory alerts in vehicles if a child has been left in the rear seat!

Tsa September 12, 2018 at 6:59 PM

No excuse for this happening. Time for parents to stop thinking just about themselves, but that is the California State motto: “it’s all about me”.

Cellophane September 12, 2018 at 7:49 PM

After reading all these posts, I can’t help but wonder who was the other family member and how would they feel.

Was it a grandparent, aunt, uncle of the child?

What horror might they be experiencing now?

There’s no one in that poor family who isn’t feeling horribly. I can’t imagine…

Prayers for the entire family.

Silva September 12, 2018 at 8:35 PM


Rvoeltz September 13, 2018 at 9:45 PM

It could even have been an older sibling. So very heart breaking. some recommend taking a shoe off when you have a young child in the car. Maybe people should just put their cell phone under the car seat.

Why Am I Hungry? September 12, 2018 at 8:38 PM

Child had to be left in there long enough to become unconscious. How long did it take for the family member to realize they left someone else’s child in their car? Smh

Nicole September 12, 2018 at 9:03 PM

Two ideas for anyone who drives kiddos around: (1) take off one of the shoes you are wearing and place it in the back seat with the child and (2) Waze allows you to set a child reminder so that every time you arrive at your destination, the app will say the child’s name aloud

Space Case September 12, 2018 at 10:34 PM

I want to live in a world with people just like you, Nicole…and with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

RunnerDope September 12, 2018 at 10:45 PM

Or better yet, put your cell phone in the backseat. That way you won’t forget the baby or have an accident while you’re driving.

Led September 13, 2018 at 12:51 AM

Thanks for the tips – those are good. I didn’t know about that Waze feature; it’s a great idea.

Bubby September 13, 2018 at 6:49 AM

Or better yet don’t forget about your child how about that one 😀

So Sorry September 15, 2018 at 12:01 PM

Thanks for the tip on the Waze App. I didn’t know it had that.

If a car has a push button start, a really simple solution would be to put the car keys on the floor below the baby’s seat. You can’t lock the car without the key fob, so you’d have to open the back door to get them.

The biggest problem is that no one thinks they’ll be the one to make this mistake. Nobody wants to admit they might forget the baby/grandbaby is in the car.

Led September 12, 2018 at 9:04 PM

If your response is to condemn the person who let this happen, you are just venting your frustration in total ignorance of how easily it could happen to you. Read a flipping article and understand why and how this happens. You say you will never understand but you won’t take five minutes to TRY to understand. It feels better to be self-righteous. If you really care more about the child than those “horrible people” who let this happen, then you should learn how people can take steps to prevent it, and then spread the knowledge. That might actually do something. Virtue signaling and judging a stranger is much easier. It’s also totally useless and unhelpful.

No turn onred September 12, 2018 at 10:05 PM

Please Note: Users who use multiple names will be deleted. Please choose a name so others can easily chat with you

wesley mouch September 12, 2018 at 10:27 PM

Law of unintended consequences: Put the babies in the back seat, facing aft. Out of sight, out of mind. Reconsider that.

Jackie September 13, 2018 at 1:28 AM

Sorry to hear about this. People ask how this can happen. It happens because the parent didn’t sleep well or was under stress, or was it is sick or has a disease which affects their memory or has other children or usually takes the toddler somewhere else. My parents had ten children. They feel asleep in the wheel wells of the cars but in those days people didn’t put their windows up because there weren’t so many sneak thieves rifling through cars. They head children getting left at freeway gastrointestinal because the kids would get out of the car without telling anyone and they hadn’t learned through hard experience to count the children every time they stopped. They learned to never let the windows down more than four inches after one toddler, in a car if four, decided to play airplane out the window (he lived). They didn’t have car seats and seat belts like we do. The question is, why don’t we have better baby seats given our vastly improved electronic technology. Why isn’t the car seat reminding the parent everytime the car stops? Why isn’t it hooked to a smart phone app? It’s time for a state law.

Lovelace September 13, 2018 at 6:19 AM

There should be a reminder button in all passenger vehicles. Push the Button when loading or starting the car. When the car turns off it beeps. No more forgetting children or groceries.

Bubby September 13, 2018 at 6:47 AM

@mrdioji you sound stupid af I have a 4 month old who is exhausting but I can never forget he’s in the backseat whoever is dumb enough to leave their kids in a car is a complete idiot

ACB128 September 13, 2018 at 8:21 AM

Very sad. I am not quite sure how somebody could forget their child in the car. The whole idea that could happen is concerning. This person seems pretty oblivious. Perhaps I am just a cruel and unforgiving person but I would question their ability to care for the child after this.

ACB128 September 13, 2018 at 8:59 AM

PS. I am not yet a parents so maybe I just don’t understand but this is just my thoughts from an outside perspective.

Rollo Tomasi September 13, 2018 at 9:23 AM

Here’s a personal anecdote that might lend some insight into how this could happen – even to a parent, let alone an extended family member.
My ten year old had gone to bed at the normal hour for him. Routine. I stayed up later than everyone else watching the tube. Routine. Something wakes up my ten year old and he comes out to the front room and curls up on the couch. It’s a weekend, so no big deal. Non-routine. Ninety minutes later, I get the bejeesus scared out of me when he stirs in his sleep. Room is dark, couch is dark, his pajamas are dark. If he hadn’t stirred, I’d have gone to bed after nodding off on the couch a dozen times without a second thought, leaving him on the couch. Not a tragedy by any means.
My condolences to the family.

Randy September 13, 2018 at 9:50 AM

Nissan announced Tuesday that it’s including a safety feature designed to help prevent the tragedy of children being left in hot cars on more of its 2019 models.

The Rear Door Alert appeared first in the 2018 Pathfinder SUV and will expand to all four-door Nissan vehicles by 2022, including the 2019 Rogue and 2019 Altima.

Fred P. September 13, 2018 at 11:02 AM

Anybody that depends on anything (including technology, ie buttons) to remind them of having a child/toddler/infant in a rear car seat should not be reproducing. So you “forget” to push the button…. Obviously, you’re enamored with technology and don’t given two hoots about humanity.

Someone is on “autopilot” because it’s not part of their daily routine? They shouldn’t be driving/transporting a child.

Obviously, that person thinks their “daily routine” is more important than a child. You want to make excuses, that’s fine. But you’ll NEVER get near my grandchildren.

old-school guy September 13, 2018 at 1:21 PM

I find it ironic that so much technology (lane departure warning et. al.) is going into cars to protect us from distractions by the most technically advanced product (phones). I never forgot that my child was in her car seat, but then I didn’t have my attention focused on my phone 24/7.

dia bella September 13, 2018 at 1:24 PM

From the time I discovered this site I’ve been shocked by the tone of the comments offered. I am so sorry to see that this tragedy has offered some the opportunity for a new low. It’s always easy to lob invective with the anonymity of a keyboard warrior. What is actually difficult is to sit with the agony of what this family is dealing with today. We are all interconnected – one person’s pain should affect us all; please do not avoid that pain by turning on the family dealing with the horror of losing an 18 month old baby.
Compassion – the only way to go.

Tarana September 13, 2018 at 12:04 PM

The automobile companies should creat a sensor that cars dont get lock and make a sound whenever there is any motions inside the car.

Mr pink September 13, 2018 at 1:31 PM

Very tragic.

Routine September 13, 2018 at 4:23 PM

I took the bus to work and back everyday. After finding I was pregnant I was put on medical leave due to chemicals at work, I returned to work 2 weeks after giving birth. My daughter was taken care of by friends because I had to return to work earlier than expected. I went back to my routine and took the bus home and one day forgot to get off at the babysitters stop. Got all the way home, and only then did I realize I left her. It was so out of my routine, it totally slipped my mind. I thank God everyday she was safe and this was not my horrific story. I can relate. I feel horrible everytime I hear this has happened

Led September 13, 2018 at 4:46 PM

‘Beneath this harsh judgment is a desire for self-protection, explains Janet Brown Lobel, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in New York City and Pleasantville, New York. “The idea of forgetting a child in a car is such a horrifying prospect for parents that the only way they can deal with it is to make themselves feel as different as possible from the parent who did this,” she says. “That parent becomes a neglectful parent with whom you have nothing in common. Therefore, you don’t have to think about this tragedy because it could never happen to you.”‘

Exhibit A: half of the comments above.

Just take a few minutes off your handy moral high horse and learn how this happens. Then you can help other people prevent it from happening to them, rather than working yourself into a useless moral dudgeon. Seriously, it is so pointless. Does anybody think of themselves as the kind of person who would leave a kid to die in a hot car?? Of course everybody, just like you, naturally thinks it could never happen to them. But this happens to real people, just like you. Have some curiosity – allow yourself to understand, and then help spread the word about how to avoid becoming one of the unfortunate few for whom a natural tendency to go on autopilot turns into a horrible horrible tragedy. It’s avoidable, yes. But getting self-righteous is not how you avoid it, for yourself or for someone else’s family.

Cindy Talbot September 13, 2018 at 6:47 PM


Atticus Thraxx September 13, 2018 at 8:38 PM

Now hold on a minute. I’m calling bullstink. LED you posted no less than three times making excuses for people letting a child bake to friggin’ death in a car like it’s a cellphone who’s screen melted. It’s a human being, a child who has no choice but to trust it’s life with adults entrusted with it’s well being.The biological and social imperative that rules us as a species. And you come here quoting some “clinical” pyscho-whatever who somehow turns that on people who are outraged about a senseless death of a child? The people who have to hear, year after year about this very same subject? How many dead infants will it take to place the blame where it belongs? On the people who leave children to die in effectively, an oven. Not the people who decry it. If it was a puppy I bet you’d be outraged then.

Rvoeltz September 13, 2018 at 9:49 PM


Rollo Tomasi September 15, 2018 at 10:04 AM

Funny how the “there but for the grace of God go I” crowd changes their tune.

WC Resident September 14, 2018 at 12:33 PM

Rest in Peace.

To reduce the chance of forgetting a child in the car I created a habit of leaving something in the back seat next to the car seat that I would need at the destination. It could be the bag of groceries on the floor, the book I was reading, etc. This was before the cell/smartphone era but today I’d leave my phone in the back.

If I did not have a child with me then I’d put my stuff in the child’s seat.

It got me into the habit of always opening the back door to check the car seat and to get the child and/or my stuff.

While some people suggest leaving their shoes in the back seat I have never been comfortable driving barefoot. What I have done at times is to take one of the kid’s shoes off and to keep that with me as a reminder, when driving.

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