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Local officer honored after pulling toddler from hot car

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) - A Columbus police officer received honors this week after pulling a toddler from a hot car. Corporal Virginia Duncan is August's Officer of the Month after she discovered the 2-year-old girl in the Aflac offices parking lot off Corporate Ridge Parkway.

Police tell News 3 Officer Duncan was working part-time security back on August 21 when she noticed two little hands waving from inside a silver Hundai Sonata. Corporal Duncan reportedly used her bare hands to force one of the car windows open so she could unlock the door with her baton and get the child out.

Although the heat index was over 90 degrees, police confirm the little girl suffered no serious injuries. Aflac representatives say they are thankful for Corporal Duncan's actions to prevent a possible tragedy.

"The entire Aflac family would be impacted by that, so we're grateful that she had the quick thinking and the intuition to take action and ensure that the safe and appropriate actions were taken," says Director of Corporate Communications Jon Sullivan.

The child's mother, 24-year old Onesha Phipps, was arrested and charged with reckless conduct 
and cruelty to children. Sullivan says Phipps was not an Aflac employee, but a staffer from an outside agency.

The latest reports confirm 44 children have died from hot car related deaths so far in 2018. Police urge all parents and caregivers to take caution given the high temperatures and always be sure to check your back seat. 


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