1-year-old rescued from hot parked car with unconscious driver

Photo: KOMO

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (KOMO) - Deputies rescued a 1-year-old child who was found inside a hot parked car Sunday while the driver was passed out behind the wheel, officials said.

The incident unfolded around 2 p.m. after a witness called to report seeing a man drive erratically, park his car and then pass out in the Salt Creek Recreational Area, about 10 miles west of Port Angeles, said Detective Sgt. Keegan of the Clallam County Sheriff's Office.

When the first deputy arrived, he found a 33-year-old man still unconscious in the driver’s seat of a 2004 Ford Mustang. The car was parked in direct sunlight and the vehicle’s windows were rolled up - with the exception of the driver’s window, which was opened only a few inches. The outside temperature was in the 80s.

As the deputy was scanning the interior of the vehicle from front to back, he observed the keys still in the ignition, drug paraphernalia in plain view in the cup holder near the driver - and a 1-year-old child in the back seat. The child appeared to be in distress and was described as sweating heavily, with drenched hair, red cheeks and flushed skin.

The deputy woke up the driver and removed him from the vehicle. He appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was detained, Keegan said.

The 1-year-old child was removed from the vehicle and moved to a cooler location out of the sunlight.

The witness was contacted and told deputies that the Mustang had been traveling along Highway 112 and swerving all over the road before turning on Camp Hayden Road, where the driver continued to swerve and drive at erratic speeds between 35 and 50 mph.

The witness watched the man park the Mustang and then saw the man immediately pass out behind the wheel.

The driver of the Mustang was arrested for investigation of reckless endangerment, driving under the influence of controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia, Keegan said.

During the arrest, suspected methamphetamine was found in a small bag in the coin pocket of the suspect’s pants.

The suspect was taken to the Clallam County Corrections Facility.

A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle, and several pieces of drug paraphernalia were found. A second search warrant was obtained for samples of the suspect’s blood.

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