A 62-year-old woman died Thursday of complications relating to severe heatstroke after she was forgotten in a vehicle in Haifa a day earlier.
The victim, who resided in an institution for the mentally frail, was left for over an hour Wednesday in a shuttle commissioned by the sanatorium as temperatures swelled to over 32°C (90°F).
After noticing the woman, the driver rushed her to Haifa’s Bnei Zion medical center where she received emergency treatment, but doctors were forced to pronounce her dead Thursday.
The driver, a resident of Haifa, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by negligence and his remand was extended by one day. The staff at the care home were also questioned.
Police and the Health Ministry opened an investigation into the incident.
According to a preliminary report, the driver of the shuttle failed to notice that the woman remained in her seat after he dropped off residents at the care home following an outing.
She lost consciousness in the back of the vehicle, suffering from severe dehydration and heatstroke, when the driver went to pick up his daughter from a kindergarten.
The caretakers at the institution only noticed the woman was missing 40 minutes after the residents had returned from their day trip. The police were alerted and began attempts to locate her.
By that time however, the driver had brought the woman to hospital in serious condition.
The sweltering Israeli summer heat has seen a number of similar incidents in recent years, mostly involving young children.
Last year, a two-year-old boy died from severe heat stroke after he was found locked inside a vehicle in Yehud.
In the summer of 2013, four young children died in separate incidents after being left in locked cars — including two cases that occurred within 24 hours — in the scorching summer heat.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.