CROWLEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Quick thinking and attention to detail kept an emergency from turning tragic after police say a grandmother left a child alone in the car on a sweltering day.
Crowley police and fire fighters were called to the Walmart Monday afternoon, and found two women inside the store frantically trying to cool off a two year old girl.
Around 5:30 p.m. Monday, police say the child’s grandmother,Deborah Reece, 60, left her in her car in the parking lot while she went grocery shopping.
Reece is charged with child endangerment, a 2nd degree felony. She is out of the Crowley jail on bond Tuesday night.
Police say Reece told them her granddaughter was asleep when she got to Walmart, and she did not notice her when she got out of the car.
Surveillance footage shows the child was left alone, strapped into a safety seat with the engine off for nearly an hour.
A woman pulled into the parking space next to the car, and noticed the child screaming. She tried the door, and found it unlocked.
Ashleigh Womack was leaving Walmart just as the woman ran up to her with the child.
“I said, ‘Ok, we need to take her inside. Get her cooled down, get to law enforcement,” Womack said.
Womack took the toddler from the other woman, and went straight to a store police officer, and then to find cold water.
She described the child’s condition.
“She was very sweaty, very flushed. Her cheeks were just bright, bright red. I could wring water out of the ringlets of her hair,” Womack said.
“She just lay in my arms. I held her for about 30 minutes,” Womack said.
First responders took the child to the hospital, where she was treated for heat exhaustion and released late Monday night.
Temperatures in Crowley registered 95-97 degrees outside at the time.
Police credit the first woman to notice the toddler, as well as Womack, as Good Samaritans who saved the child’s life.
As mother of two, including a two year old daughter, Womack says she just followed her instincts to help.
“If I had been the very first one to that door and it had been locked, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought to run around to the other side and break a window,” said Womack.
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