Heartbreaking stories continue to surface of young children being left in hot cars this summer.
On Friday, July 26, a pair of 1-year-old twins were tragically killed in Kinsbridge, a village of the Bronx in New York, after being accidentally left in their car seats while their father was at work. The pair of fatalities plus the fatality of one child in Florida brings the total number of vehicular heatstroke deaths now up to 24, according to kidsandcars.org, a nonprofit organization that works to promote safety initiatives related to children and pets in and around vehicles.
Juan Rodriguez, the father of the twins, was arraigned on charges of manslaughter, negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child, according to CNN, which cited the New York Police Department.
Rodriguez entered a not guilty plea and posted bail, which was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond. Upon his release, Rodriguez was met by family and friends who were at the courthouse to support the grieving husband and father. His wife, Marissa, released a statement of support asking for privacy.
“Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband,” Marissa Rodriguez said in a published statement. “He is a good person and great father and I know he would’ve never done anything to hurt our children intentionally… I will never get over this loss and I know he will never forgive himself for this mistake. This is a horrific accident, and I need him by my side to go through this disaster.”
According to the medical examiner, the children’s bodies were 108 degrees when found. A memorial has gone up in the Bronx where Rodriguez pulled his car over after realizing his children were still strapped into their rear-facing car seats.
“Temperatures were in the low to mid-80s much of the day on Friday, topping out around 88 degrees,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brian Thompson said. “The sun was shining pretty much all day long, with just scattered clouds in the afternoon.”
The tragic story in the Bronx came after another pair of children had to be saved by a police officer smashing a car window in Perkins Township, Ohio, on July 20. The emergency call to save those children was made by the mother when the woman realized that her car locks had malfunctioned and the keys were left inside.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office and authorities are investigating another hot car death incident that happened on Monday in Oakland Park, Florida. Deputies responded to the scene outside Ceressa’s Day Care where temperatures reached 91 degrees during the time of the death, according to ABC 7.
According to Kids and Cars, there are an average of 38 cases of child vehicular heatstroke deaths per year. Last year’s total of 52 deaths was the most fatalities in a single year, according to the site.
Earlier this year, in May, seven kids were rescued by police officers in Charles County, Maryland, thanks to a 911 call from one of the kids inside the vehicle. According to the sheriff’s office, the call was made by a 4-year-old after his mother left his sibling and five other kids she was babysitting in the car at a shopping center in Waldorf. The mother was charged with confinement of children inside a motor vehicle.
In July, another baby was rescued in Lincolnwood, Illinois, by the Lincolnwood Fire Department when the child’s parents called for help after accidentally shutting the car door with the keys inside. The temperature inside the car was recorded at 112 degrees, firefighters said.
9-year-old genius to graduate university
(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.
Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.
Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.
He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.
His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.
“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.
Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.
While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.
But Lydia has her own theory.
“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.
The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.
“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.
“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”
Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.
“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”
Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”
His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.
“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.
“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”
While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.
“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”
Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.
However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.
In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.
Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.
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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem
Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.
The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.
Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: on 11/6 at approx 3:43 PM in front of 128 West 112th St in Manhattan, a 32 yr old male was walking with his 8 yr old son when a white BMW jumped the curb & hit the father & son. The driver then got out and slashed the father. Call @NYPDTips with any info. pic.twitter.com/cwd79rcM4c
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 15, 2019
Father and son were both knocked through a gate.
The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.
One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.
McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.
McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.
Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
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