HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — The deaths of a Hagerstown mother and her two young children found inside a stifling car have been ruled as accidental. The three died in June.
Tracey Leong has the details on what medical examiners concluded.
The exact cause of death is hyperthermia and environmental heat exposure. Investigators say it is possible the mother had an undiagnosed mental health issue.
The 32-year-old mother, Allison Pluck, was found inside her car along with her two baby girls, 18 months old and 6 months old, on June 16. The mother reclined in the driver’s seat and the girls were strapped into child seats with the ignition off and the windows closed when Western Heights Middle School staffers discovered the bodies.
“People go into this field because they have a love and affinity for children and they have a passion so they have big hearts,” a teacher said. “So when you find something out like this, it’s hard not to be heavy-hearted.”
It’s believed they were inside the car for more than 10 hours. The outside temperature reached 90 degrees that day.
According to experts, a car can heat up like an oven in a matter of minutes. After one hour, the inside can hit 133 degrees.
“It was very hot when first responders opened up the car,” a police officer said.
Investigators couldn’t rationalize why she stayed in the vehicle and believe she may have suffered an acute mental health break.
Pluck was an immigrant from Guyana. She and her two children have been buried in the United States at the request of her family and the father of her children.
The toxicology report for Pluck and her children was negative.
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