BURNABY, B.C. — RCMP in British Columbia say an "absolutely heartbreaking" set of circumstances led to the death of a 16-month-old boy who was left alone in a hot vehicle for hours.
Police said Friday that many of the details about the death were still being investigated, but Burnaby RCMP Supt. Deanne Burleigh warned parents leaving their cars to make sure their children aren't left inside on hot days.
"Make sure you've delivered them where they need to be delivered," she said during a news conference. "We're in a heat wave right now. Please don't leave your children unattended in a car at any age."
Police say an ambulance was called late Thursday afternoon to a report of an unconscious toddler in a vehicle near Burnaby's Central Park, about 10 kilometres east of Vancouver.
Several heat records were broken across the province on Thursday. In Metro Vancouver, temperatures inland reached into the mid-20s C.
The boy was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
No charges yet
Burleigh said the child's father was found at the scene and both parents were co-operating in the investigation.
"As with any tragedy like this, I can't imagine how the parents are coping," she said. "As a parent myself I can't imagine how I would cope, so we have provided victim services. They are surrounded by friends and family."
She couldn't say if any charges would be laid.
The BC Coroners Service said it was also in the early stages of investigating the boy's death.
Burleigh said the main message police wanted to get out was that such deaths can be prevented.
"It's about taking that extra time. It's tragic. It's horrible. There are no words to describe what anybody would be feeling right now. Please don't leave your child unattended in a car."
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