Man Endures Sweltering Heat in Viral 'Hot Car Challenge' Video

Terry Bartley was motivated by the car death of little Cooper Harris.

ByABC News
July 14, 2014, 11:22 AM

— -- The sweat drips down Terry Bartley’s forehead, his cheeks, his neck.

The North Carolina man sits in his car with the windows rolled up. The temperature outside reaches the upper 80s.

The video, uploaded to YouTube June 20, serves as Bartley’s message: a “Hot Car Challenge” to parents around the world, motivated by the death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris days earlier.

“I want to know how it feels to be left in the car, sitting in the back seat, strapped into a car seat with the windows up and doors probably locked,” Bartley says in the video clip.

New Search Warrants Released in Georgia Toddler's Hot Car Death Case

Mother of Toddler Killed in Hot Car Researched Child Deaths, Warrant Says

What Life Was Like for Family Whose Son Died in Hot Car

Cooper was left in a SUV for nine hours on a 90-degree day. His father, Justin Ross Harris, is now charged with felony murder and cruelty to a child in the second degree. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he left Cooper in the car accidentally.

That tragedy motivated Bartley to sit inside his car and start recording, even though, by his own admission in the video, he could “barely breathe.”

Bartley told ABC News Sunday that the "first ten minutes when I was in the car was just trying to get a glimpse of what it felt like for a child to sit in a car."

"I was losing air, it was like I was sitting in a microwave cooking," he said."I could have easily took my shirt and wiped my face and wringed it out."

He said he simply wanted to "raise awareness for parents to stop leaving their kids in the car unattended."

At least 17 children have died of heat stroke in hot cars this year alone, according to the website Bartley is hoping his challenge will raise awareness to help prevent any more deaths.

Bartley’s video has been viewed more than 1.1 million times, inspiring others to take the challenge and create their own videos, some of which feature children and dogs.

"I was shocked," he told ABC News. "I made a video and I didn’t expect that it would get this kind of attention it did. It kind of blew up out of nowhere."