Florida boy dies in hot truck; father arrested

by Marta Holmes September 12, 2016, 1:42
Florida boy dies in hot truck; father arrested

Troy Whitaker, a 41-year-old man in Palm Harbor, Florida, dropped off his five-year-old daughter at school on Friday morning, and completely forgot that his son Lawson was also in the vehicle.

However Lawson was pronounced dead in hospital. He works as a firefighter with Hillsborough Fire Rescue.

The toddler's father was arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter, the network quoted sheriff's spokesperson as saying.

By 4:30 p.m., when Whitaker finally found the boy, he attempted to give him CPR and called the police, but the child was blue, and not breathing.

Whitaker's son Lawson, who was nearly 2 years old, was found just after 4:30 p.m. Friday in the backseat of the truck, which was parked outside his family's home at 1635 Castlewood Lane.

Later after a trip to the grocery store, he pulled his limp 23-month-old son from his auto seat.

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Though he dropped off his daughter at her school, Whitaker forgot to drop off his son at daycare, reports added.

The National Safety Council says children heat up four times quicker than adults and so even a 70-degree Fahrenheit weather situation could pose a fatal threat to a child in minutes. "What I'm saying is that you have got to be responsible for kids, and you can't leave them in the vehicle for eight hours and let their body temperature get to 108 degrees and they die...it's obvious that he had been dead for awhile". "You can't leave them in a hot vehicle and let their temperature get up to 108 degrees", Gualtieri said.

Experts recommend parents place their bag or cell phone in the backseat as a reminder that their child is in the vehicle.

Deputies said Whitake put Lawson and his daughter, Addison, 5, into his 2011 Chevrolet pick-up truck at about 7:50 a.m. Friday.

Prior to Lawson's death, KidsandCars reported there had been 28 hot auto deaths involving children in 2016 so far.

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