Caught on camera: 2 children rescued from hot car, mom arrested

OKLAHOMA CITY - It's a life-saving rescue caught on camera.

Samantha Pitts, 26, was arrested after police said she left her kids in the car with the windows cracked a few inches while she went in Penn Square Mall.

It was an act police said was no accident.

Now, body camera video and a good Samaritan give a more clear picture of how it all unfolded.

"Immediately went to the car and got the children out - no 'hi' or anything," said Andrea Nelson.

Nelson was on her way to work at a salon at Penn Square Mall when - as fate would have it - someone took her parking space - leaving her parked next to a scene she'll never forget.

"I had to do a double take," she said. "I couldn't even believe it."

Two very young children - around 1 and 4 years old - sitting in a car - all alone.

Nelson immediately called 911. In this case, because the children were coherent, she was advised to not break into the car but monitor the children as first responders headed her way.

"As the sirens approached, a little girl popped out of the floorboard - just covered in sweat," Nelson said.

Even with the windows rolled down a few inches - police said it was about 91 degrees outside - making it 105 degrees inside the vehicle.

EMSA paramedics said Nelson did the right thing - immediately calling 911, because in these situations - every second counts.

"It can happen very quickly because they can only compensate for so long, but then their little bodies just give out and they cannot fight it any longer," said Heather Yazdanipour, with EMSA.

As a mother of a girl about the same age as the one she helped rescue - Nelson said she couldn't believe anyone would leave their child in that situation.

"Anytime you see a child going through something, you think 'what if that was my child' and so it made me cry," she said. "It made me sad. I was upset."

Paramedics said, in a parking garage, it can be even hotter than outside in the sun because there is no air flow or breeze. They urge you to act fast if you see a kid alone in a hot car.

Thankfully, the kids are okay. Their mother was arrested on two counts of child endangerment.