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BABY LEFT BEHIND IN VEHICLE, BUT ALERT WITNESSES STEP IN
Woman charged with child neglect after returning to vehicle from store
A close call involving a baby boy left in the back seat of a vehicle this afternoon resulted in child neglect charges for the woman who left him there – and a reminder to everyone to take some simple steps to avoid a potential tragedy.
Volusia County sheriff’s deputies responded to the call in the parking lot of Cosmo Prof (2403 Enterprise Road, Orange City) shortly after 3:15 p.m., when a passerby called 911 after noticing the baby was left in the vehicle. The door was unlocked, and witnesses opened it and found the 8-month-old boy was OK.
Deputies and firefighters who arrived on scene confirmed that the boy was in good health and good spirits.
Deputies spent several minutes looking for the adult responsible for the baby. Meagan Burgess, 33 (DOB 3/4/1985), arrived back at the vehicle about 24 minutes after the 911 call was made. Burgess told deputies she had forgotten the baby was in the car, as she had just dropped off several other children with a family member in DeBary. She said leaving the baby in the vehicle was her worst fear.
Burgess was charged with child neglect and will be booked at the Volusia County Branch Jail today.
The National Safety Council and the safety organization Kids and Cars estimates 37 children die each year as a result of being left alone in hot vehicles. Last year, 42 died. The website noheatstroke.org reports 767 children have died due to pediatric vehicular heatstroke since 1998.
Some tips to prevent these tragedies include NEVER leaving a child alone in a car, even when it feels cool enough outside to be safe. Temperatures inside a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes, and infants are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke. Many parents make a habit of leaving something essential in the back seat that they can’t leave without – a purse, a wallet, a cell phone or even a shoe. More information and tips are available at https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/child-passenger-safety/kids-hot-cars.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151