Toddler in Hot Truck Dies, Father Arrested
The Palm Harbor man left his 23-month-old son in a hot truck for several hours, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
PALM HARBOR – A Hillsborough firefighter was arrested Friday (Sept. 9) after the death of his toddler son died who was left in a hot truck for several hours, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Troy W. Whitaker, 41, of 1635 Castlewood Lane, Palm Harbor, was charged with one count of aggravated manslaughter of a child, deputies said. He works as a firefighter with Hillsborough Fire Rescue. Lawson, his 23-month-old son, was pronounced dead at Mease Countryside Hospital.
Deputies said Whitake put Lawson and his daughter, Addison, 5, into his 2011 Chevrolet pick-up truck at about 7:50 a.m. Friday. Lawson was in his car seat in the back seat of the truck. Whitaker drove to Addison’s school, where he dropped her off. Whitaker was supposed to drop Lawson off at day care but drove home instead.
Whitaker got home about 8:30 a.m. and went inside, leaving Lawson in the truck. The child remained there until about 3:30 p.m. when Whitaker got back in the truck and drove to the grocery store. Deputies said Whitaker did not realize Lawson was still inside the truck. Whitaker returned home from the grocery store about 4:30 p.m., and was unloading groceries from the truck when he discovered Lawson unresponsive in the back seat of the truck. Whitaker called 911 and performed CPR on the child, deputies said.
Lawson was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Deputies said Whitaker told them he thought he dropped Lawson off at day care earlier in the day.
For information about the Pinellas sheriff, go to pcsoweb.com.
Pinellas Sheriff | Toddler Dies | Palm Harbor | Hillsborough Fire | Troy Whitaker | Firefighter | TB Reporter
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