On December 13, Live Oak, Florida 3 young children accidentally trapped themselves inside a chest freezer while playing outside.
According to the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office, a preliminary investigation stated that three children, aged 6, 4, and 1-years old, played outside their home on Sunday evening when they climbed inside the freezer that got left in the yard.
The distraught mother of the 4-year-old said she had been watching the children and went inside the house to use the bathroom. Upon her return, the children were gone.
She told investigators that she woke up the other two children’s grandmother, and together they began searching for the children. Even the vacant lot next door got searched, but it wasn’t until over half an hour later that they checked the freezer that had been left in the yard.
When the women opened the chest freezer, they found all three children unconscious and not breathing. They began to resuscitate the children and called 911.
According to the sheriff’s department, the freezer’s height would make it easy for the 6-year-old to open and climb inside.
According to the sheriff’s office, no foul play is suspected. The chest freezer, which is about 3 feet tall, had a hasp used for a padlock which closed and trapped the three small children inside. There was no padlock placed on the freezer.
“It was about 3-feet-tall, 2-feet-wide, you have three of them inside, so it probably didn’t take them too long to burn up any air that was inside it.”
According to Florida statute 923,07, it is illegal to have an airtight unit, including items such as a chest freezer, abandoned on a property without first having had the door or lid removed.
The purpose of the statute is for the sole reason to prevent children from getting trapped and suffocating. Sam St. John added:
“It could be like a neglect charge or like this freezer being left out with a lid on it with access to the kids. That is a whole separate charge itself.”
The attorney’s office will review the case, and the state’s Department of Children and Families also got notified.
On August 18, 2018, Lucey Guyton from Michigan was in Waterford on an 84 degrees weather day when she secured her baby daughter in the car seat, she put in the diaper bag and closed the door.
While walking to the driver door, she heard the doors of her SUV lock automatically, and Lucey suddenly realized the keys were in the diaper bag.
Lucey asked her grandmother to contact 911 while she tried to break one of the car windows with a piece of asphalt she found on the ground. Repeated attempts to get the window broken failed.
When Lucey’s grandmother got through to a 911 operator, she got told that they do not send out their responders to open car doors or break windows, in spite of Lucey’s baby trapped in the car and unsuccessful attempts to do it themselves.
After another call for help to 911, they got told for the second time to get a tow truck, Lucey’s grandmother called one while Lucey ran to the back of the SUV, in attempts to break the back window.
Her baby daughter had gone silent after screaming of the heat and discomfort, and her eyelids started to close. Lucey was frantic; her baby was dying.
The third attempt to break the window did the trick, and Lucey climbed through the back to get her daughter out of the sweltering vehicle.
A tow truck arrived 12 minutes after Lucey finally managed to get her daughter out, if she waited for them to help, her daughter would be dead.
Accidents can happen so quickly, and it is up to us as adults to foresee dangerous situations children are yet too young to understand or grasp, and do what we can to prevent them.