Vernon mother arrested after allegedly leaving 3-month-old infant in hot car

VERNON, Conn. (WTNH) - A Vernon mother is facing charges after allegedly leaving her 3-month-old infant in a hot car.

Danielle Hatch has been charged with risk of injury to a child and leaving a child unsupervised after neighbors in Westview Apartments said they pulled her baby out of a car on a 91 degree day. 

Amber Allen lives next door and knows Hatch. She watched the terrifying and chaotic moments play out. 

"Everybody was out here," Allen said.  "They brought the ambulance and they pulled the baby out."

Police say the child did not need to be taken to the hospital and is expected to be okay. 

Related Content: Police finish reviewing surveillance video from West Haven hot car death

Allen says Hatch has two children and is a wonderful mother who had a terrible day. 

"She's wonderful and she lives for her kids. She was just in shock. Take time to know somebody before you pass judgment because what if it was you?" 

Neighbors say Hatch was upstairs in her apartment and didn't know the little girl was in the car and that groceries were in the trunk. 

"There is no excuse for it, but maybe now she can get the help she needs."

Police did not say why Hatch left the infant alone or the reasoning she gave police. 

Related Content: New push for technology to stop hot car deaths

Neighbors in Vernon are praising those who jumped into action and saved the baby.

"We have a really good community in our apartment complex," Carmela Shafer told News 8.  "I'm not surprised someone came to the rescue." 

Several neighbors took time to send a strong message knowing the outcome was the best one possible in what are typically deadly endings. 

"I think we need not be so distracted and busy with our lives that we forget our most precious cargo," Shafer said.  

"Babies should be the first ones in and the first ones out," Allen added.  "Pay attention, put a mirror in, put an alarm on." 

The Department of Children and Families is now involved. Danielle Hatch is expected back in early September. 

Web Extra: Look at new technology featured in vehicles at Executive Nissan aimed at preventing children from being left in hot cars



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