Deaths of 3 in Md. car ruled accidental heatstroke

Sunlight (KSN File Photo)
Sunlight (KSN File Photo)

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A woman and her two young daughters found dead in her stifling car in a middle school parking lot died from accidental heatstroke, the Maryland medical examiner’s office said Tuesday.

The formal cause of death was hyperthermia and environmental heat exposure, spokesman Bruce Goldfarb said.

Allison Keyonda Pluck, also known as Allison Lancaster, 32, was found dead in her silver Nissan sedan June 16 along with the bodies of Shania Gill, 18 months, and Shameka Gill, 6 months. The mother was reclined in the driver’s seat and the girls were strapped in their child seats with the windows closed, the ignition off and the doors unlocked, police said.

Hagerstown Police spokesman Capt. Paul Kifer said Tuesday he was unaware of the medical examiner’s findings.

Police have found no connection between the family and the school.

Police said in June that an employee of Western Heights Middle School, leaving on the last day for teachers before summer break, spotted the bodies in the late afternoon. The outdoor temperature peaked near 90 degrees that day.

Surveillance video at a local Wal-Mart showed Pluck buying a DVD player at about 6 a.m. that day.

School surveillance video showed the car arriving at the school at 6:16 a.m., then driving around the back of the building and parking in an employee lot, where it remained until the bodies were found around 4:30 p.m.

The children’s father lives in Hagerstown but didn’t live with the mother and was never married to her, police have said.

Police say Pluck had recently moved from West Virginia to Hagerstown, about 70 miles west of Baltimore.

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