No charges in death of Lee’s Summit infant left in car

07/11/2012 12:00 AM

07/11/2012 9:32 PM

No charges will be filed in connection with the death of a Lee’s Summit infant whose mother unintentionally left him inside her car while she was at work.

Lee’s Summit police said Wednesday that their investigation into the May 3 death of 13-month-old Heath Hubbard was turned over to Jackson County prosecutors, who determined that charges would not be filed.

Authorities previously said that the mother mistakenly believed that she had dropped the boy off at day care on the way to work at Cedar Creek Elementary School, where she taught. She did not discover him inside the car until about 4:30 p.m. that day, when she was on the way home.

The child was not breathing and she pulled over and immediately called 911.

The outside air temperature reached the low 80s that day.

Such tragedies are not uncommon, experts say, because a change in routine can cause parents to forget their child is in the back seat.

A local advocacy group, which created the website kidsandcars.org, told The Star after the Lee’s Summit incident that parents can reduce the risk by putting a cellphone, purse, briefcase or other important item on the floor in front of the child seat. The parent would then notice a forgotten child when retrieving the item.

Other strategies are to leave a teddy bear in the child seat and move it to the front seat — as a reminder — after the child is buckled in, and to arrange for the child-care provider to contact the parent if a child is not dropped off by a certain time.

Join the Discussion

The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service