“At least one child death every week,” 52 children died in hot cars in 2018

Boy on back seat of a car looking at camera in sunset

HARRAH, Okla. – After learning of a 5-year-old dying in a hot car at Kickapoo Casino, national nonprofit KidsandCars.org says 52 children in the United States died in hot cars in 2018, which is the highest number of fatalities in one year in the over 20 years of collecting data.

KidsandCars.org formerly reported that 51 children died of heatstroke in cars, but the organization just learned of a Harrah, Oklahoma death.

Alanna Jean Orr, 50, of Oklahoma City, was charged with second degree felony murder by child neglect today.

Orr was caring for her five-year-old grandson on June 21, 2018, when she went to the Kickapoo Casino in Harrah.

According to surveillance video, Orr arrived at the casino at 1:23 p.m. and left at 7:28 p.m.  It is alleged that during this time, her grandson remained in the car.  The high temperature in Harrah that day was allegedly ninety degrees.

Orr was arrested earlier today and appeared for arraignment this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell.

If found guilty, Orr faces a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a fine of $250,000.

KidsandCars.org says this incident brings the “unprecedented” total of child-car heatstroke deaths to 52, one child death every single week.

“On average, 38 children die in hot cars every year. A 37% increase in 2018 fatalities based on the average number of deaths per year is not only unacceptable but unconscionable as well.”

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