Winston-Salem baby accidentally locked in car serves as warning

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A story of a Winston-Salem mother accidentally locking her 9-month-old baby in her car on a 90-plus degree day – although it has a happy ending – is serving as a warning.

“That was terrifying,” said the baby’s mother, Rajean Blackstock. “Definitely scary.”

Blackstock tells FOX8 she had gotten out of her car in downtown Winston-Salem shortly before noon on Thursday. By the time she went to open the rear door to get the baby out, the car had locked automatically.

“My phones were both in the car, so I had to flag somebody down,” Blackstock said.

Luckily, the car was still running and the air conditioning was on.

“Had it not been, she could have easily suffocated in my car,” the mother said.

Blackstock used a phone to call 911 and Winston-Salem firefighters responded immediately.

“They got in the car in maybe less than a minute,” Blackstock detailed. “I mean, I was out here screaming. Screaming for joy. Super happy. Ecstatic.”

The Winston-Salem Fire Department said the baby was not in distress, so they used a lock out kit to get inside. However, earlier this week, they rescued a child from a locked car who was in distress by smashing the window.

The car in front of Blackstock’s belonged to Mary Garland, who had her grandson with her. Garland said the pair were also sitting in their car with the AC on, but it still became too hot for her grandson.

“That’s why we got out the car, because he was talking about it was too hot in the car, so we said let’s go up under the shade tree,” Garland said.

From there, they watched as firefighters unlocked Blackstock’s vehicle.

“Yeah, it was very intense for a minute there,” Garland recalled.

For both women, it serves as a reminder and a warning they hope others will hear before a story with a more tragic ending unfolds.

“That just made me think about, you know, everything that’s been happening,” Blackstock said. “All the stories that you hear about in the news, all the kids that weren’t so fortunate. I’m grateful. Very.”

“It happens before you know it,” Garland added.

The Winston-Salem Fire Department says this is the 24th time they have responded to a child locked in a car in 2017 and the 12th time since May 1. In 2016, they responded to 46 calls for children locked in cars and they responded to 43 such calls in 2015.