MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Detectives are investigating how a 3-year-old boy died inside a car outside of a school on Monday afternoon in Miami Gardens.
According to the Miami Gardens Police Department, officers responded just after 3:45 p.m. to the Lubavitch Educational Center, at 17330 NW 7th Ave. Fire Rescue personnel used a helicopter to fly the boy to the hospital where a doctor pronounced him dead, police said.
Rabbi Benzion Korf, the dean of the educational center, released a statement on Monday night, saying the boy was the son of two of the school’s staff members.
“This tragedy hits close to home, and many in our school community have been affected by it. No words can capture the heartbreak and sadness we feel,” Benzion Korf wrote.
Personnel from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office took the boy’s body from the hospital to the Jackson North Medical Center on Monday night.
Florida leads the nation in hot car deaths just behind Texas, according to the National Safety Council. Since 1998, there have been 99 hot car deaths in the state of Florida.
The Miami Herald reported the boy was alone in the car for over eight hours. Temperatures at the time officers responded were well into the 90′s — with a heat index of 100-103 degrees.
Benzion Korf said a guidance counselor and a therapist plan to meet with the Lubavitch Educational Center’s staff and students on Tuesday.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the family at this time of great loss,” Benzion Korf wrote. “We ask the community for their prayers and to respect the family’s privacy as they grieve.”
Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Emily Hales, Chief Meteorologist Betty Davis, and Reporter Janine Stanwood contributed to this report.