Floria mom Meagan Burgess, 33, dropped off several children with a family member and headed to a beauty supply store in Volusia County on Tuesday.
The mother parked her Nissan Rogue and went inside the store, completely unaware that her “worst nightmare” was about to unfold, according to WKMG.
Burgess had forgotten her 8-month-old son in the backseat.
Thankfully, a man and his wife passing by spotted the child and were able to get into the car and take him out. He told the 911 dispatcher:
“There’s a baby in a car and we just opened the door but we don’t know where the people are, whose car it is.”
The car hadn’t been parked for long, so the interior wasn’t heated to dangerous temperatures. The man’s wife fanned the child to keep him cool as they waited for the authorities.
He told the dispatcher:
“The baby’s fine. He’s not crying, he’s breathing. Everything’s fine with the baby.”
Burgess emerged from the store 24 minutes after the 911 call and ran to her car. It only takes 10 minutes for a car to heat up 20 degrees, according to NoHeatStroke.org, meaning the infant could have been in serious danger.
A video captured the moment she was told that her son was left in the car.
The mother cried and told people at the scene:
“I work in the emergency department, I’m a nurse and, like, I hear these stories and I have four kids and I always think how could that possibly ever happen?”
Burgess was arrested and charged with child neglect.
In court, her husband said she was a “incredible mother” to their children and loves them. Burgess won’t be allowed to have contact with her 8-month-old while the case continues.
Local police said that the close call should serve as a warning to other parents, and encourages them to take active steps to avoid similar tragedies.
Parents are encouraged to leave objects like cell phones and purses in the backseat, so that they’ll have to check it before leaving the car.
The mother was released from jail without bond.