Avant Redding died in May of this year.By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — An innocent 4-year-old boy from Carnegie is the latest victim in the ongoing opioid epidemic across southwestern Pennsylvania, and the boy’s father is charged in connection with his death.

Police say Avant Redding died on May 7 of this year after ingesting fentanyl at a residence on Hutton Street in Carnegie.

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According to police, 36-year-old Van Redding got into a car accident while rushing his son to St. Clair Hospital.

He told investigators he had taken the child to McDonald’s, and shortly after they came home, the boy began to vomit. The child later died at the hospital.

While inspecting Redding’s apartment on Hulton Street in Carnegie, police found a bag of white powder, which was later identified as fentanyl.

“The father had fentanyl in the residence. The child had contact with the fentanyl and is now dead. It’s just an example of the dangers of this horribly powerful drug that’s taken the lives of so many people”, said Allegheny County Police Assistant Superintendent Victor Joseph.

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Even though the boy died in May, police had to wait until now to charge his father because they needed the results of a toxicology report, which allowed the Allegheny County Medical Examiner to determine a cause of death.

That toxicology report determined Avant Redding died of exposure to fentanyl.

Van Redding is now facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of children and possession with intent to deliver.

“These are the worst types of cases, any time you have a child die. This is a tragic example of the opioid crisis and dangers of heroin and fentanyl,” said Joseph.

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Van Marcus Redding is scheduled to have his preliminary hearing on July 9, and he is currently being held in the Allegheny County Jail.