October 23, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - The parents of a Central California girl who died of heat stroke last year while trapped in the family car have sued the car maker BMW as well as their daughter's school district.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Madera County Superior Court, says 14-year-old Graciela Martinez became trapped in a 1997 BMW 328i last September and died when the temperature inside reached triple digits.
According to the suit, Graciela's brother parked the car near the school and locked Graciela inside so she could catch a nap before class.
But the car's double-locking mechanism prevented her from getting out, and the car horn would not work without the keys in the ignition.
The suit says BMW knew of the locking mechanism's dangers and blames the school district for failing to notify Graciela's parents that she wasn't in class.
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