Police remind drivers to ‘look before you lock’ after child rescued from hot car

Local

LEEDS, Ala. (WIAT) — Police officers are reminding parents to “look before you lock” after a child was rescued from a locked car in 90 degree heat over the weekend in Leeds.

A locksmith helped Leeds Police get the 8-month-old child out of the care safety. Officers were called to the residence around 4 p.m.

Investigators said it was an accident.

“I don’t know how long the child was in there, but I would imagine 7 or 8 minutes, it’s prety hot in 7 or 8 minutes in a car without an air conditioner and no windows down, especially on a 90 degree day,” said Richard Waldrop with Leeds Police.

Waldrop and several other officers rushed to the scene when he happened to spot a familiar locksmith who happened to be working a call in the area unexpectedly.

“I just turned around and hollared at him because I know him, told him what I had, and he said ‘lead the way,'” said Waldrop.

John Farris told CBS 42 he believed he was in the right place at the right time.

“I’m just glad I was there, I’m just glad I was able to be there at the right time, God put me there for a reason,” said Farris.

Farris said he loves being able to help people in his profession, but added that heat calls are the worst calls he receives.

“I have got into situations where a child is locked in a car and as soon as I get my air bag in to open the door a little bit, you can feel the heat come out of the car,” Farris said.

Reminders to ‘look before you lock’ are active on message signs along several interstates after children have died.

In April 2017, a 1-year-old died after he was left in a vehicle in a Vestavia Hills parking lot. In September 2017, a 3-year-old died after being left in a hot car at Miles College in Fairfield.

While the weekend’s case was an accident, police said it’s an example of why reminders to look before locking are so important.

“Leave something important with the child, that you know you are not going to forget, the child should be the most important thing, but still, we’ve all heard that before,” said Waldrop.

While officers were prepared to break a window, Waldrop is just thankful he saw Farris.

“I knew that when I saw him he would drop what he was doing and go help out,” said Waldrop.

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