A babysitter was arrested after allegedly leaving a 2-year-old girl in a hot car in New Mexico for hours, resulting in her death, according to authorities.
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The girl, who was not named, was left in the care of 41-year-old babysitter Tammy Brooks at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to police in Hobbs, by the New Mexico-Texas border.
Brooks was supposed to drop the little girl off at day care but drove to her job instead, said police.
The child was left alone in her car seat for hours until Brooks ran an errand and then allegedly realized the girl was there, according to police.
Officers responded at about 1:30 p.m. and the 2-year-old was pronounced dead, said police.
The temperature reached a high of 91 degrees in Hobbs on Tuesday.
Brooks was arrested and charged with abandonment or abuse of a child resulting in death (a first-degree felony), according to police. Brooks is scheduled to appear at an arraignment on Wednesday, said police.
This marks the 42nd child to die in a hot car so far this year in the U.S., according to national nonprofit KidsAndCars.org.
Last year was the deadliest in American history with 54 child hot car deaths, the organization said.
KidsAndCars.org is advocating for Congress to pass the Hot Cars Act to require rear occupant alarm technology in cars.
“No child should endure the tragedy of dying while trapped in a hot vehicle,” Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said this summer after the bill was introduced. “The unfortunate reality is that even good, loving and attentive parents can get distracted.”
Click here for a list of hot car safety tips.