One-year-old twins Phoenix and Luna died last week in the Bronx after their father, Juan Rodriguez, an Army veteran and VA social worker, forgot to drop the children off at day care before heading to work. Rodriguez has been charged with two counts of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangerment of a child. His wife has stood by him, clinging to Rodriguez at the twins’ funeral, and calling her children’s deaths “a horrific accident. Mr. Rodriguez told police of the incident: “I blanked out. My babies are dead. I killed my babies.”
Hot car deaths are an all-too-common problem in America — 53 children died in hot car deaths in 2018 alone. An average of 38 children die in hot car deaths every year, and the number of deaths has been steadily increasing since 2015. More than 800 children have died from hot car deaths in the past 20 years, according to Noheatstroke.org.