DETROIT, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- A 3-year-old Detroit girl was killed when she was trapped by a power window in the back seat of her grandmother's car.
Deputy Police Chief James Tate said that Autumn Stanford was apparently standing up on the back seat instead of being strapped in a child safety seat, the Detroit Free Press reported. Her grandmother was playing a religious CD loudly and was unaware that anything was wrong until it was too late.
Safety advocates say that power windows should be equipped with auto-reverse devices. In cars equipped with auto-reverse, windows roll down again if they meet any resistance on the way up.
"They call it the silent killer," said Janette Fennell, president of the Kansas-based Kids and Cars. "Please understand that as soon as that window goes up, they're trapped. They cannot call for help. It goes up so quickly with 40 to 80 pounds of pressure. It probably takes 8 to 10 pounds of pressure to kill a child. This little girl would be alive today if auto reverse was in that vehicle."
Dr. Cheryl Loewe, a deputy medical examiner, believes that Autumn kicked the window switch, accidentally causing the window to close.