NC man accused of involuntary manslaughter in child’s hot car death

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina man is accused of involuntary manslaughter after his 17-month-old son was found unresponsive in a vehicle outside his home, authorities said.

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Wayne Nesbitt Jr., 36, of Fayetteville, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the hot car death of his son, Oskar Grettir Nesbitt, according to the Fayetteville Police Department.

Fayetteville police Sgt. Jeremy Glass said that the boy was accidentally left in a van for several hours on Sept. 5, WRAL reported.

“They returned home from church, and after ... the child was just never taken out of the car,” Glass told the television station.

According to the Fayetteville Police Department, officers responded to Wayne Nesbitt’s home, where they found the toddler unresponsive inside a van, WLOS reported. Despite life-saving efforts by authorities, the child was pronounced dead. The boy died of heat-related conditions, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Fayetteville reached a high of 89 degrees on Sept. 5, according to The Associated Press.

According to his obituary, Oskar Nesbitt was one of 11 children.

Glass told WRAL that there was a misunderstanding about who took the child out of the van.

“Ultimately, the father’s responsible for the safety of that child and he was charged appropriately,” Glass told the television station.

Wayne Nesbitt was booked into the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $100,000 unsecured bond, the Fayetteville Police Department said in a news release.

According to data from KidsandCars.org, Oskar Nesbitt’s hot car death was the third in North Carolina and the 22nd nationwide.

The other deaths in North Carolina this year occurred April 25, when a 5-month-old girl died in Iredell County; and June 24, when a 2-year-old girl died in Gastonia, according to KidsandCars.org.

“Hot car deaths continue to take place because nobody believes this could happen to them,” Janette Fennell, president of Kids and Car safety, said in a statement. “The unfortunate reality is that this has happened to even the most loving, responsible, and attentive parents.”