EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) — Technology, not negligence, caused an infant to become trapped inside of a hot car in Euclid, Ohio. Police and the baby’s quick-thinking mother saved 2-month-old Sanaiya in the nick of time.
“It felt like my life was about to end,” said mother Nicki, who asked to be identified by her first name. “Who would think their baby would ever get locked in the car.”
The young mother was loading the car before work Friday around 12:15 p.m. when, in a split second, everything changed.
“I closed the door and broke down the stroller and I realized my keys were on the seat,” Nicki said. Before she could grab the keys, the vehicle’s automatic locks engaged.
“I started panicking,” Nicki said. “She started sweating instantly because it was hot outside and I knew I had to think fast.”
Her cellphone was also inside the vehicle, so Nicki ran to the office at a nearby apartment complex and they immediately called police.
The temperature outside was around 85 degrees, and within minutes, it was around 104 degrees inside of the vehicle.
Cpt. Mitch Houser said officers knew the clock was ticking because children’s bodies heat up faster than adults, causing heat stroke and/or suffocation in mere minutes.
“Anytime we know there’s a defenseless infant inside of a car soon to be fighting for her life, if we don’t get to her out, that’s going to amp somebody up,” Houser said.
Police rushed to the scene and grabbed their tools, but were unable to pry open either the door or window.
Houser said every time the “lockout device” hit the door lock button, the car would lock itself again, so the officers switched to another tool. As Nicki paced and wiped the tears from her eyes, the officers grabbed a sledgehammer and smashed the front driver’s side window.
Luckily, Nicki always takes a frozen bottle of water with her to cool the baby down in hot weather. The officer grabbed the frozen water bottle and began rolling it over Sanaiya’s pulse points.
“This officer knew exactly what to do to help out. Those precious moments before EMS could get there,” Houser said. Sanaiya checked out fine and suffered no injury from the experience.
Nicki said she is so grateful to police and everyone who helped save her baby girl.
“Thank you so much, thank everybody for their help,” Nicki said.
Both she and police said they hope it serves as a warning to other parents to always be extra cautious and roll down the windows when loading the vehicle.
“With new technology and door fobs, it can happen to anybody at any time,” Houser said.