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Good Samaritans help elderly women trapped in hot car

Posted August 7, 2015

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— Two elderly women who were left alone in a hot car have two Good Samaritans to thank for their rescue.

The incident happened Thursday in the parking lot of the Salvation Army on Tryon Road. Two friends from Tarboro were sitting in their SUV when they noticed a minivan with the windows cracked open and two women inside.

According to police, Turissa Bright, the CEO of Clark’s Family Home Care in Johnston County left two women, ages 73 and 75, in a car while she shopped.

Tammy Gardner and Angie Pridgen said they saw Bright go into the store. After several minutes passed, they grew concerned so they walked over to the vehicle.

They say the women, whose names have not been released, did not appear to be in good health. One was slumped over, and the other did not speak. The two friends asked the women if they could call somebody and give them water. One victim simply responded by saying they were hot, and the two friends called police.

“It [made] me angry,” Pridgen said. “My mother is 83, and if somebody is taking care of my mother while I’m at work or I’m away, I expect them to take care of my mother. I don’t expect them to go shopping or do anything like leave my mother in the car.”

Pridgen said Bright eventually came out of the store, after medics had arrived.

Police arrested Bright on Thursday. She is charged with felony abuse. She had her first appearance in court on Friday.

The two women were taken to a hospital and are expected to survive.

6 Comments

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  • Johan Summer Aug 9, 2015
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    As someone in HealthCare for over 25 years, caretakers are fully responsible for their patients, regardless of the patient's abilities (physical, cognitive, etc). I'm not arguing with your point, Tom, just sharing from a Healthcare professional's perspective (and Oath). Bad situation all around, and hope the ladies continue to improve. Take care!

  • Tom Green Aug 8, 2015
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    I'm surprised that all of the responsibility seems to be placed on the caretaker. We don't know the cognitive function of the passengers, but it seems that adults in their 70s (unlike children in their single digits) might be able to make the decision to leave the hot car.

  • Donald Holder Aug 7, 2015
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    If she's even licensed.

  • Barbara Sossomon Aug 7, 2015
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    OH MY: Turissa Bright, the CEO of Clark’s Family Home Care in Johnston County --- This place needs to be closed down. This woman does not look like she is taking that great care of herself.

  • Paul Jones Aug 7, 2015
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    The accused lady is 70 years old herself.

  • Johan Summer Aug 7, 2015
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    This caregiver - Ms. "Bright" (LOL) is the CEO of this 4-member Care home. The state should Immediately pull her license to provide any and all care in the State of NC, and register her in the National Database with this incident. Thank God for the 2 ladies who called 911 to assist the elderly ladies.