Hot car challenge, Las Cruces group shows dangers of leaving children in hot car

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POSTED: Sunday, July 27, 2014 - 10:42pm

UPDATED: Monday, July 28, 2014 - 3:22pm

It was a challenge to beat the heat and raise awareness.

The goal, lock yourself inside a hot car for 20 minutes to show people just how fast things can become dangerous.

"It was like an oven," said participant Daniel Hromada.

Jose Villegas, another participant, said, “I definitely would not wish this on anybody."

"It was terrible," described Matthew Beal. 

This started after a group of friends saw the news about the recent deaths of children left alone in hot cars.

Looking to raise awareness, they invited their Facebook friends to take on the challenge.

"You know, keep these tragedies from happening," said Patrick Molina.

It was about 98 degrees when the 22 volunteers closed all their windows, turned off their engines and shut their doors.

It didn't take long to feel the heat.

"Five minutes in, all of a sudden you are sweating a lot more. It is getting hard to breathe. The air is getting thin. It is getting real humid in there," said Hromada.

And it only got worse from there.

"Ten minutes came around and it was getting hard to breathe,” said Beal. “I started to get a little delirious"

While they were inside the cars, they decided to record themselves on their cell phones.

One thing they didn't expect, there phones started to shut off within minutes of being in the car. 

"It started overheating. It got so bad that I thought it was going to melt in my hand, I had to turn it off," said Molina.

But they pushed on.

"Towards the end it felt like I wanted to take a nap, it felt like I was going to pass out," said Molina.

When the 20 minutes were up, the toll was visible.

"I can only imagine kids that are strapped in there for 45 minutes or an hour and a half,” said Villegas.

Villegas has two young children of his own. 

"You don't forget to feed them, you don't forget to bathe them; you don't forget to take them to school. The last thing you should do is forget to take them out of their car," he said.

A lesson these people wanted to learn first hand.

The Las Cruces Police Department was there to make sure everything was done safely. 

The group will be uploading the videos they recorded from inside the cars online.

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