Florida Firefighter Charged After Son Dies In Overheated Truck

A Florida firefighter is facing manslaughter charges after he forgot his son in his pickup truck and the child died of heat stroke.

Hillsborough County firefighter Troy Whitaker thought he had dropped off his 23-month old son Lawson at day care last Friday morning, and went home to study for promotion. Late in the afternoon he discovered the unconscious child in the truck and began CPR. The child was pronounced dead at the hospital with a body temp of 108 degrees.

He was charged by Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies with aggravated manslaughter.

Whitaker reportedly took his 5-year-old daughter and Lawson Friday morning, dropping off the 5-year -old at school, but forgetting he had Lawson. He arrived home at about 8:30 am, and began studying. About 3:30 he ran an errand and discovered Lawson some time thereafter.

 

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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