Grief counselors spent Thursday morning on the Madera South High School campus, helping students cope with the death of their classmate.
Administrators say 14–year–old Graciela Martinez rode to school with her brother, also a student, Wednesday morning.
He went into classes early, and police say she stayed behind in the car.
Her brother returned to his car after school, and found his sister inside.
He drove her to Madera Community Hospital, where staff members alerted police.
At this stage, officers say her death appears to be heat-related.
Madera Unified Superintendent Ed Gonzalez says the temperature in the car, at the time Graciela was found, exceeded 130 degrees.
An autopsy is pending, but Gonzalez says there is something all families can learn from this tragedy.
“It really underscores the importance of being vigilant, to make sure people don’t stay in locked cars,” he says.
“We are collectively putting our arms around the family and we will provide the support needed in the difficult days ahead.”