Photo Credit: BayNews9
While others were inside a Tampa church praying, a three-year-old child was left inside an SUV on Sunday. The investigation is ongoing, but it appears to be an accident caused by miscommunication, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.
According to police, Rodline Rigby, 25, drove her cousin Ruebensa Rozin, along with a 12-year-old boy and a one-year-old to Ebenezer Baptist Haitian Church. The boy carried the baby into the church but Ruebensa was unknowingly left inside the Nissan Pathfinder. The girl, whose nickname was Hallie, was not discovered for 90 minutes.
Parishioners grabbed the child and rushed her inside. They performed CPR, but unfortunately it was to no avail. She was taken to Tampa General Hospital where she died.
Hallie’s family said they believe this was an accident but hope it serves as a reminder to people to keep track of their children and never leave a child in a hot car.
At this time no charges have been filed against Rigby.
Hallie was a very smart child. She could speak English, French and her mother’s native Creole, said her mother, Melissa Rozin.
She liked the television show “Barney,” and every night she wanted her mother to read her bible stories before bed.
Prevent child injuries by doing the following:
Children should never be left unattended in a vehicle – even with the windows cracked.
Place a needed item, such a cell phone, and laptop or gym bag in the backseat with the child that will serve as a trigger to remind the driver a child is in the car.
Read more tips about awareness and prevention in our article, "Kids Left In Cars - It Could Happen To You."
Child Injury Statistics
Every year, more than 30 children die because they are left alone in a car, according to SafeKids.org. In just ten minutes, a car’s temperature can increase by 19 degrees – and continues to rise.
There are currently no federal or state agencies collecting information related to deaths and injuries that occur as non-traffic incidents on private proper. But KidsAndCars.org maintains a national database tracking deaths and injuries of children left unattended in or around motor vehicles.
Read how Janette Fennell, founder of KidsAndCars.org, made the auto industry listen to why vehicles needed to made safer for children.
“If we leave the headlights on or keys in the ignition, our cars provide a warning buzz. Somehow our society has decided that it’s not okay to have a dead car battery; but it’s okay to have a dead baby……”