Friends Raise Money for Firefighter Charged in Son's Hot Car Death

Friends and neighbors are raising money for a Tampa-area firefighter arrested after his toddler son died in a hot vehicle.

Troy Whitaker, 41, of Palm Harbor, faces an aggravated manslaughter charge in the death of 23-month-old Lawson.

A GoFundMe campaign raised over $6,500 by Sunday morning for Whitaker's legal fees. The page identifies him as a firefighter paramedic with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and says the legal burden ``is not indicative of who this family is.''

Authorities say Whitaker left Lawson in his pickup truck for eight hours Friday. The Tampa Bay Times reports that Whitaker declined to speak with reporters when he was released on $50,000 bail early Saturday.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the newspaper there's no evidence that Lawson was deliberately left in the truck, but the situation amounts to criminal neglect.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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