SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ — A 16-month-old boy was rushed to a Valley hospital Tuesday after first responders say he was locked inside a car.
The incident happened outside a San Tan Valley Walgreens off Ocotillo and Gantzel roads around 6 p.m.
The child's mom, seen by several witnesses shopping inside with her son, left the store with her child, but later reported he was locked inside the car.
Two agencies responded to the call, Rural Metro Fire crews and Pinal County Sheriff's Office deputies arrived within 10 minutes of the call, according to a spokesperson for Rural Metro.
Fire officials say the boy's mom blamed the auto-locking feature on her car for the incident. She told crews on scene she used the auto-start feature on her car to start the vehicle, and put her son in the backseat, but said it locked her out after she shut the doors. After 10 minutes, she said the car shut off automatically, leaving the boy inside with no air conditioning.
Fire crews tried to unlock the door, but couldn't. A Pinal County deputy later broke the window of the car to get the boy to safety.
Witnesses report seeing first responders rush in to the store with the toddler in hand, putting ice packs on his body.
However, a spokesperson with the Sheriff's office disputes that statement, saying the car was on the entire time the boy was locked inside.
PCSO reports the keys were in the ignition, the car was running, and the air conditioning was on inside the car even when first responders arrived.
The department says a deputy broke the window to gain access to the car after the boy's mom reported she was locked out.
It's unclear why the two agencies accounts don't match up. Both agencies say the boy was evaluated at a local hospital and is expected to be okay.