RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Family and community members honored 10 years of Kaitlyn's Law, designed to save children's lives.
Eleven years ago, 6-month-old Kaitlyn Marie Russell died of hypothermia after her babysitter left her alone in a hot car. A year later, lawmakers passed Kaitlyn's law, which makes it illegal to leave a child under the age of 6 alone in a car without someone 12 or older.
Kaitlyn's family created 4 R Kids' Sake, an organization that advocates children's safety. Kaitlyn's grandmother, Laura, said the family acted immediately to make sure Kaitlyn's death wasn't in vain.
"It was more that Kaitlyn couldn't have lost her life for no reason," she said. "There had to be a purpose. She fought so hard to come into this world, being a twin, the other one being miscarried, and then she was delivered at 31 weeks."
"4 R Kids'" Sake has been promoting community involvement in cases like Kaitlyn's, encouraging people not to feel worried they will be prosecuted if they break a window to save a child who is stuck in a car.
"Break the window open-whatever it takes, because the cost of a window pales in comparison to what the cost of a life is," Deputy District Attorney Deena Bennett said.
Kaitlyn's memory lives on with the effort to stop these preventable tragedies.
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