Arkansas boy, 3, dies after being left in hot car, police say

FORT SMITH, Ark. — A 3-year-old boy from Arkansas died after being left in a hot car on Tuesday, authorities said.

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The temperature at 2 p.m. CDT in Fort Smith had topped 100 degrees when the boy was found in a car parked in the driveway of a home, the Southwest Times Record of Fort Smith reported.

In a news release, the Fort Smith Police Department said an “undisclosed person” had to break the car window before taking the child to an area hospital. The boy later died at the hospital, according to KFSM-TV.

According to a news release from Kids and Car Safety, the boy was the 18th child to die in a hot car nationwide this year and the first in Arkansas. The state ranks 18th nationally with 19 hot car deaths since 1998, according to the organization.

Tuesday’s death was the first one of a child in a hot vehicle in Arkansas since 2020, according to the Times Record. There were two hot car deaths in the state that year, according to the newspaper.

“In the first 10 minutes a car is closed up, the temperature rises by 19 degrees,” Jan Null, an adjunct professor of meteorology at San Jose State University, told KFSM. “So let’s say on a 100-degree day or 100 plus degree day like it is in Fort Smith today -- you know you’re at about 120 degrees in 10 minutes.”

Police said an investigation is ongoing and more information will be released when it becomes available, according to the department’s news release.