Reports said the little girl was left in the car for up to eight hours
An elementary school in Florida is today confronting tragedy after it emerged a teacher had left her toddler in her car parked on a hot day, gone inside to teach and then left work to discover the girl was dead.
Reports said that Jamie Buckley, from Panama City, arrived the Cedar Grove school shortly before 7.30am on Tuesday, parked her vehicle and then forget the toddler was there. She discovered the youngster once she returned to the vehicle at around 3.15pm.
“Investigators from the criminal investigations division and the crime scene unit were called to the scene,” said a statement posted by the Bay County Sheriff’s Department.
“Preliminary investigation revealed the mother, Jamie Buckley, a teacher at Cedar Grove Elementary, arrived at school this morning between 7 and 7.30 am and forgot the child in the car. When she went to her car to leave after school she found the child, Reagan Buckley, still in her car seat.”
The North West Florida Daily News said the toddler was pronounced dead at the scene. The Bay County Sheriff’s Office has launched a full investigation.
On Tuesday afternoon, temperatures in Panama City hit 83 degrees, according to data from Weather Underground. Once outside temperatures reach 80 to 100 degrees, temperatures inside a car can climb up to 131 to 172 degrees, according to a 1998 case study from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
At least 30 children died in hot cars in the United States last year, the Washington Post reported.
No charges have been filed in Tuesday’s incident, according to reports.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the family and the school,” Superintendent Bill Husfelt of Bay District Schools told local media.