AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - It's a terribly tragic thought, made much too common this summer: a child suffering heat-induced injuries, or even death, after being left in a hot car. Yet another recent incident in the Augusta area has parents fuming.
"You started off with the child in the car. How can you leave them in such a hot car? Would you want to be left inside a hot car like that?" questioned Tresa Hester, a Columbia County parent.
Hester said she would never have left her daughter in a hot car because of the danger, but police say Tyrone Thomas did. He reportedly left his 2-year-old in his van in the parking lot of the Augusta mall Monday night.
"It seems like it's an epidemic going on," Hester said. "It's like a wave of people who are just neglecting their children and leaving them in their cars."
According to police reports filed with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, Thomas left the infant inside the van, with windows up and the doors unlocked. A man found the 2-year-old and notified mall security, who pulled the child from the van.
"My heart goes out to those poor defenseless children who are left inside those cars," Hester said.
And while Hester admits parents can be busy, she believes their primary concern should be their child.
"Some may be busy. I can say that some maybe just rushing but that still doesn't give you an excuse to neglect your child," said Hester.
The best advice if you see a child in a hot car: call for help immediately.