Graciela Marinez BMW 3 Series

There are parts of cars we expect to break down over time, and there are those we take for granted. The locking mechanism on a door, for example, is surely an example of the latter, but meant the difference between life and death for a 14-year-old girl in Madera, California.

That girl was Graciela Martinez, who apparently died from heat stroke last Wednesday. Although an investigation is still under way, it appears that Martinez fell asleep inside her brother's 1997 BMW 3 Series, parked outside Madera South High School. When she woke up, she was reportedly unable to get out of the car due to a faulty locking mechanism.

Our hearts go out to the Martinez family and Graciela's friends at Madera South High, whose football team is reportedly staging a bake sale to raise money for the funeral expenses. Scroll down below to watch a news report covering the tragedy.