Two Valley students produce short film on hot issue

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POSTED: Monday, September 2, 2013 - 5:19pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 8:29am

Summer vacation is usually just that--a vacation.  But that wasn't the case for a pair of students at Sharyland High School who spent their summer break making a short film with a very important message.

Jacob Ramon and Drake Alford aren't your average high schoolers.  These two are on a mission to put an end to the tragic stories of parents leaving their kids inside of hot vehicles.

"Since we live in the valley, I mean you hear cases like this all the time," said Ramon.  "You know, the negligent parents that leave their kids in the hot cars and then especially with the level of heat we have down here, it's definitely a prevalent crisis we have here."

This crisis prompted the pair of senior students to make a short film called "Autopilot" to bring awareness of the consequences of negligence.

"It wasn't just some goofy home video that I've done in the past with my friends," said Alford.  "It was something that would definitely get a lot more publicity than anything we've ever done before."

"What we really wanted to do with this film was really explore not only that kind of tragedy but different ways that kind of tragedy can happen," Ramon added.

Just down the road from Sharyland High School, a woman left her 18-month-old daughter in the car for nearly an hour on Thursday at an HEB parking lot.  The woman claims she forgot she left her child in the car, which is exactly what Ramon and Alford say is a dangerous risk possible for any parent.

"You know, it can happen to anyone," Alford stated.  "The concept of 'autopilot' is that anyone can be going through their day and forget about something, their child in the back seat, because they're so caught up in the hustle and bustle of day to day life."

"We definitely want this to have a positive message for people and just kind of stimulate them," said Ramon.  "Just listen, be attentive, be more aware of your surroundings.  Don't succumb to this mindset that everyone does because you never know what could happen."

According to KidsAndCars.org, 38 children on average die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being left inside of a vehicle.  As of August 29, 30 children in the U.S. have died so far in the year 2013 from heat stroke. 

Two cases of kids trapped in hot vehicles recently occured in the Valley--Lorena Garza, 34, left her 18-month-old daughter in a car last Thursday while grocery shopping at HEB.  On the same day, Silvia Garza (no relation to the first woman), 40, left a 7-year-old child and a 14-month-old infant in a hot car in Brownsville.

To watch the short film by Jacob Ramon and Drake Alford, click this link: http://vimeo.com/71846634

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