Florida firefighter charged after son dies in hot vehicle

PALM HARBOR, FL (WFTS/WCMH) — A Florida firefighter is accused of aggravated manslaughter after his child died from being inside a hot vehicle.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff, deputies responded to a call informing them that a 23-month-old boy was left inside a truck in the driveway of a Palm Harbor Home on Friday. The sheriff’s officers said the boy had been dead for some time.

The sheriff says that Troy Whitaker, the father of the boy and a firefighter, had dropped his daughter off at school but didn’t drop his son off at daycare before returning to his home and parking the truck in the driveway.

It wasn’t until after Whitaker made an afternoon trip to the grocery store that he noticed his son in the car seat. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says Whitaker immediately removed his son from the car, tried to perform CPR and then called 911, but it was too late.

“It’s not an intentional act. I’m not saying it is,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. “What I’m saying is you’ve got to be responsible for your kids. You can’t leave them in their car seat for eight hours, let their body temperature get to 108 degrees and they die.


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