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This article was published 13/8/2015 (711 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The owner of a city tow truck company smashed his way into a locked hot car and rescued an 18-month-old boy trapped alone inside.
The child was just starting to pass out from the heat on Wednesday afternoon when Full Tilt Towing and Transport Ltd. owner Jeff Hogg arrived. He briefly made attempts to unlock the doors, but they kept locking automatically.
Hogg grabbed a chain, smashed a window, crawled inside and pulled out the boy, who was strapped into a child seat in the back.
"He was already starting to pass out, so I just smashed the window out," Hogg said. "By the time I got in there, he was pretty hot."
An ambulance was called to the Applebee’s parking lot on the 1200 block of 18th Street around 3 p.m.
A person inside the restaurant, who asked not to be named, said the child, its mother and another woman had been inside the business for a meal before the incident.
Hogg had been up at Kelleher Ford on the North Hill when he was notified by an employee.
It appears that employee had been called by his wife’s sister, who had been with the mother at the time.
When he got the call, Hogg sped down to Applebee’s to find the screaming mother peering at her child through the windows of the Honda CR-V. She had been pounding on the windows with her hand to keep her son awake.
The key fob was inside the car, in a bag in front of the child.
Hogg tried to break into the car twice by using a device that can squeeze past the top of the closed window to be used to press the door lock button. He managed to press the lock button three times, but the doors kept locking again automatically when he pulled the door handle.
Hogg believes the relocking doors are a security feature designed to keep thieves out.
Hogg figures the child was locked in the vehicle for 10 to 20 minutes. It was about 33 C outside at the time, and within 20 minutes the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 43 C. In half an hour, it can feel closer to 51 C.
He reached through the busted window and pressed the lock button, but the door locked automatically again. Hogg then crawled through the window, cutting his leg, unbuckled the boy from his car seat in the back of the car and pulled him out.
He then handed the child to its mother, who took the boy to another truck and poured water on him.
At that point, the ambulance arrived and took the boy to hospital. Brandon Fire and Emergency Services says the boy was taken to hospital to be checked out as a precaution and it appears he will be fine.
Hogg bled from an inch-long cut to his shin as he loaded the car onto a flatbed truck following the incident.
How the boy came to be locked in the car isn’t clear, but Hogg believes the boy was locked in by accident due to malfunctioning locks. He figures the child was strapped into the back seat and the doors automatically locked when the mother went to get into the driver’s seat.
Brandon firefighters also believe that’s the scenario. The mother and the woman with her called tow trucks, but when they didn’t arrive fast enough, they dialed 911. Hogg believes one of the women was placing that call just as he arrived. The ambulance arrived in about three minutes from the time it was called.
Hogg said the car’s doors shouldn’t have remained locked, as there’s a special button on the door handle that can be pressed to open the door when the fob is nearby. It didn’t work when he tried it out.
» Twitter: @IanHitchen