Hot car death inspires new alert method to check backseats for children

The idea is to tie small bells to the driver's side, inside door handle, allowing the sound to catch your attention.

BUSH-  It's been a little more than two weeks since the state saw its third hot car death this year.

"He made a lot of people smile," said Barbara Vanzant, about her great grandson, 8-month-old Daverick Coffey.

Coffey died after accidently being left in a car all day earlier this month. The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office says the baby's legal guardian forgot to drop him off at daycare. Two other children in that guardian's care are now with another relative while the case is pending with the District Attorney's Office.

But in the sleepless nights since she last saw her great grandson's smile, Vanzant has soothed her sadness with a solution she hopes will save other babies from a similar fate.

The idea is to tie small bells to the driver's side, inside door handle, allowing the sound to catch your attention.

"So when you open that door, just remember what the bells stand for," she said. "Look in the back. Check for the baby."

Vanzant's bell idea comes in addition to some suggestions already recommended including leaving a briefcase, purse or even a cell phone in the backseat to remind you to check on a child.

So far, she's spread her message into two states and passed out more than 100 flyers. She's also in talks with area stores that sell the bells to have the flyers distributed there too.

"I just want to save somebody else's life," she said. "If I save one life with these bells, it would mean a lot to me."

And give her another way to keep her great grandson's memory alive.

If you'd like to get involved in this effort, email arodrigue@wwltv.com to get contact information for Mrs. Vanzant.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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