North Carolina ranks 6th in child hot car deaths, study says

The list - compiled by Kidsandcars.org - shows that there were 32 documented deaths in the state between 1991 and 2016.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WRAL-NBC) -- It was 2011, on a hot day in Mississippi, when Bishop Collins’ parents were running late to church and unintentionally left their 3-month-old child in the car.

“Bishop was left in the car," said Norman Collins Sr., Bishop's grandfather. "It was 93-degree weather, the windows up and they were in worship services for about 2 hours and 15 minutes.”

By the time Bishop’s parents realized what happened, it was too late. It's something Collins says he’ll never get over.
“In my mind, seeing him reach, as he would often do, reach, you know, and there’s nobody there," Collins said. "Nobody to get him. Nobody for him to reach out to.”

North Carolina ranks No. 6 in the country for the number of deaths since 1991 due to children being left in hot cars, according to a national count of the incidents. The Tar Heel State's ranking is due to 32 documented deaths in the state between 1991 and 2016.

The data comes from kidsandcars.org, an organization that advocates for stronger car safety measures for children. The site notes that the numbers should be considered low because states do not track data for hot car deaths.

Texas had the highest number of deaths with 113. Florida, California, Arizona and Georgia rounded out the top five.

Bishop Collins' death motivated Norman Collins to help prevent similar situations. He’s now one of thousands of advocates pushing for the Hot Car Act of 2017, a bi-partisan piece of legislation that would mandate car makers install technology to alert drivers if a child was left in the backseat.

Advocates on Wednesday will meet with U.S. lawmakers to announce the legislation.

Collins says it could have saved his grandson’s life.

“As soon as my son would’ve gotten out of the car or even turned the car off, there would have been this noise," Collins said.

It’s a noise that he says will prevent other families from having to go through the heartache that he has to live with every day.

© 2017 NBCNEWS.COM


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