SC mom resigns from teaching job after disabled daughter dies in hot car

U.S. & World

WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina woman charged with murder for the death of her teenage daughter in a hot car has resigned from her post as a public school teacher.

Colleton County School District spokesman Sean Gruber said the school board accepted longtime educator Rita Pangalangan’s resignation Wednesday. Authorities say Pangalangan and her friend Larry King left the disabled 13-year-old inside a hot car for five hours on Aug. 5.

Investigators say Pangalangan and King checked on the girl twice before discovering the car doors were locked. Authorities said the teen was dead by the time Pangalangan and King unlocked the car. Both face murder charges.

One week after the incident, Pangalangan’s daughter was also accused of leaving her two children alone in a car. The children were not seriously injured.

According to, over 900 children have died in hot cars nationwide since 1990. 

Thirty-eight children have died in hot cars so far this year, according to


Year Total

  • 2019 38
  • 2018 53*
  • 2017 43
  • 2016 39

The average number of deaths per year: 38 (one every 9 days), according to

*Year with the most fatalities: 2018 (53 deaths)


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