Summertime may mean days spent at the pool and slathering your L.O.s in sunblock, but the high temps can also set the stage for scary scenarios like one experienced earlier this month by a mom from Michigan named Lacey Guyton. Guyton, 25, took to Facebook on August 21 to share the devastating details of accidentally locking her 2-month-old baby girl in a hot car.
"I was visiting my grandma in Waterford on August 18th and when leaving, I put our 2 month old baby in her seat in the car along with the diaper bag and shut the door," Guyton wrote. "As I walked around the car to my door, I heard all the doors randomly lock and then immediately realized the keys were in her diaper bag in the car... having only a key fob and push to start car, touching the door handle with the keys inside should’ve unlocked the door, and it didn’t. And my heart sank."
Guyton had her grandmother call 911 immediately, and in the meantime, she says she "grabbed a huge chunk of asphalt off the ground and start bashing it on my front passenger window as hard as I could and it was doing nothing." Her grandpa gave her a window breaker, and that did nothing either.
"The 911 dispatcher told my grandma to call a tow company, because they don’t send anyone out to unlock cars or break windows..." she wrote. "I didn’t have time to wait for a tow company as my baby is screaming and getting hotter in the car. So I called 911 back and told her again my 2 month old is locked in a hot car and asked her to PLEASE send a fire rescue just to smash my window. I didn’t care to wait for someone to unlock the door obviously I just wanted my windows smashed and my baby out. Again she told me she would transfer me to a tow company because they don’t send anyone out to break windows or unlock cars."
At that point, Guyton decided to just ask the tow company to come while she continued to keep trying to break the window of the Dodge SUV. "I checked on Raina again real quick and saw she stopped crying and was starting to close her eyes and at this point I didn’t know if she was going to sleep or if my baby was dying," she wrote. "Realizing no emergency help is coming to save my baby was the worst feeling in the world."
In that moment, she decided to try breaking the back windshield, and after "two hard hits, it finally shattered." Guyton, understandably, wrote that she "had never felt more relieved. I crawled through, grabbed her, and the key fob and it still wouldn’t unlock the car. I tried hitting the unlock button on the door and for some reason, maybe it malfunctioned, but it just would not unlock so I manually unlocked the door and got her out and cooled down."
Twelve minutes later, the tow company showed. No wonder the distressed mom says this was "the most traumatic 15 minutes" of her entire life.
"We are so thankful our daughter is okay, but we’re extremely pissed that after calling 911 twice for our daughters life on the line, a dispatcher whose been there for years, still refused to send help," she wrote. "I now know that the back windshield of a car is the easiest to break so if anyone else is ever in a situation like this, don’t waste your time trying to break the side windows, just go right for the back windshield!!"
Since sharing her story, Guyton tells Parents.com she's had "thousands of responses from other parents saying this has happened to them as well." In some cases, they said they were able to get emergency responders out in five minutes, but many have also said they received the same kind of response from the dispatcher.
"I’m hoping by sharing this that no one is ever refused emergency service for this kind of situation again," she says. "I’m also hoping Dodge will look into their keyless entry issue. I’ve also had a ton of people reach out to me to let me know their Dodge vehicle has malfunctioned in the exact same way that kind did."
In the meantime, local police have apologized to Guyton and issued a statement: "While it is true we do not normally respond when people lock their keys in their vehicle and we do offer to contact a wrecker service for them, this is a completely different situation," Waterford Police Chief Scott Underwood said. "We should have responded in this case and we should respond in any similar case when there is a concern for the health, safety or welfare of any person, especially a young child."