October 26, 2020
car

1-year-old dies in hot car after dad won’t break window

When Sidney Deal found his 1-year-old daughter locked inside his new car Monday afternoon, he asked his girlfriend to call his insurance company about sending a locksmith, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

But after 20 minutes of haggling over the cost, Deal told her to hang up and went outside to flag down a passing police officer at 3:30 p.m., according to the publication.

The officer offered to break a window or call a tow truck, but Deal instead asked him to call his brother, KMOV reported. When his brother arrived, Deal asked him to call their mother to summon a locksmith using her insurance.

His brother wrapped his T-shirt around his fist and prepared to break a window on the Nissan Altima, but Deal stopped him and said he could not afford to replace it, KLAS reported.

Deal eventually permitted the officer to break a window on the car, which had been left running with the air conditioner on, but 1-year-old Sayah Deal had already died from the heat, KMOV reported.

Officers arrested Sidney Deal, 27, on suspicion of child neglect causing substantial bodily harm, KLAS reported. His mother defended Deal. “My son was not negligent the way he handled it,” said Artavia Wilson, according to the station.

Police estimate that Sayah Deal spent an hour inside the car, the Las Vegas Sun reported. Her father told police that she initially walked around on the seats, then seemed to fall asleep on the floor.

Temperatures in Las Vegas reached a high of 93 degrees on Monday, according to AccuWeather.

About 100 people mourned Sayah Deal’s death at a Tuesday vigil, the Associated Press reported.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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