The police thought they were responding to a call about a traffic collision, but they arrived to find the toddler severely injured.
Parents everywhere are being warned of the dangers of power windows after a two-year-old girl accidentally died while playing inside a car. The little girl, identified as Eimi Patlan-Garcia, was reportedly playing inside a parked vehicle in Arizona when she got caught in a power window as it rolled up.
When police officers were called to the scene, they thought they were responding to a call about a traffic collision near 37th and Lewis avenues around 7:30 p.m. But once they arrived, they found the two-year-old toddler with serious injuries.
"When officers arrived they learned this was not actually a traffic collision, but a juvenile girl had been injured while playing inside a parked vehicle at a residence," said the Phoenix police in a statement, as quoted by NBC News. "The investigation showed the child was injured when one of the vehicle's power windows was rolled up on her."
2-year-old girl dies after getting caught in a power window while playing inside a parked vehicle, Phoenix police say. https://t.co/7udSGy7MZU— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 5, 2021
Eimi was rushed to the hospital and later pronounced dead. The primary cause of her death was determined to be asphyxia, according to the medical examiner's report. Although the incident was ruled to be an accident, Eimi's death is still heartbreaking and is serving as a warning to families to ensure their children are safe in cars.
"It's awful. It's heart-wrenching," said Andy Williams from the Phoenix Police Department, as quoted by FOX 10 Phoenix. "Little kids can get into anything and it just takes a moment for them to get into something that they shouldn't and it just takes that moment where tragedy can strike. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the community right now."
According to KidsAndCars.org, a nonprofit advocacy group that highlights car safety issues involving children, over 65 children have been killed by power windows since 1990. Their website also noted that power windows can exert an upward force of 30-80 pounds, while it only takes 22 pounds of force to suffocate or injure an infant.
"People don't understand the power that these window go up. It has between a 30 to 40 pounds of force and it takes 22 pounds of force to break the trachea," Janette Fennell, president of the nonprofit group, told AZ Family.
Toddler dies after she's caught in power window while playing in car https://t.co/UmGBJwAzXC— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 6, 2021
In addition to this, another situation that can be dangerous to a child is leaving them inside a car alone. A number of children pass away in this manner because the temperate in the car rises and leads to tragic and avoidable deaths.
The main point that Fennell stresses is that children should not be left unsupervised inside a car. "The temperatures can rise and kids can die really quickly from the heat but maybe what they aren't thinking about is the dangers of power windows, maybe they aren't thinking about kids knocking cars into gear or trunk entrapment," Fennell added.
Recently, the death of twin toddlers came to light after they were left alone in the car by their father. The babies, Brycen and Brayden McDaniel, were meant to be dropped off at daycare but their father forgot to do so. The twins were left in the car for hours while the father went to work, and they died of hyperthermia or heat stroke.
Cover image: Representational (Getty Images | Photo by Jill Lehmann Photography)