News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 2, 2013

Autopsy: Child left in car died of hyperthermia

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — An autopsy Monday showed a 3-year-old male, discovered Friday inside a pickup truck, died of hyperthermia, said Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos.

“The results of the autopsy show it is consistent with hyperthermia, which is getting too hot” in the vehicle, Amos said. The coroner said she will request a toxicology test. “We are not suspecting anything; that is just being thorough,” Amos said.

The coroner said the child’s body temperature was 108 degrees when taken at the Union Hospital emergency room. Attempts to revive the child were unsuccessful. The child died at 3:14 p.m., police report.

A police investigation found that the pickup truck belonged to the child’s father, a Vectren employee.

Amos said the temperature may have been about 120 degrees in the vehicle. Terre Haute’s high was 95 degrees on Friday, according to the National Weather Service reading at Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field.

Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said Monday the incident remains under investigation.

Police report that about 2:39 p.m. on Friday, the child was found unresponsive in a pickup truck in the west parking lot of Vectren, 475 S. First St.

Police said the father and witnesses told them the child would normally have been dropped off at a nearby daycare, and that the father did not realize the child was still in the vehicle when he arrived at work about 10:30 a.m.

The child was discovered by a co-worker, who called 911.