Florida Hot Car Accident Inspires Father to Educate Other Parents

by Carmen Dellutri on September 13, 2011

Florida personal injury attorneyA Florida father is using the tragic death of his daughter to educate other parents and prevent future Florida hot car accidents. Reginald McKinnon’s daughter Payton died in March 2010, after he left her in the car when he went to work.

Payton became the first child to die of heat stroke in what became a record year for the number of deaths after children were left in hot cars, according to KidsAndCars.org, a national child safety group.

As detailed by The Register, “Reginald McKinnon's 60-year-old father-in-law, Jim Ringenberger, was one of those people who'd read about a child left in a car in and thought, how? The biggest smear on McKinnon's record prior to this was a water usage violation. He and Julia are the kind of parents with locks on all the cabinets.”

The sad truth is that it can happen to anyone. Nearly everyone is capable of forgetting, said David Diamond, a University of South Florida psychology professor and a career scientist at the veterans' hospital in Tampa.

"Anyone who has a memory system that can fail, which is pretty much everyone, that means you're capable of forgetting a child," he said.

To increase awareness about the risks of hot car accidents and honor Payton’s memory, McKinnon speaks to parents and expecting parents. "When your life's going crazy, you just need to slow down and make sure your child is your priority," he recently told parents at the Children's Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers.

Speaking to parents started as part of his community service sentence. Although he had completed the required 20 hours by last November, he still frequently speaks to parents about the dangers of leaving a child in a car for any amount of time.

For tips for avoiding a hot car accident, please see our previous blog post available here.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida hot car accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced injury attorneys for a free consultation. 

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