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Local Firefighter Initiative After Family Dies In Car Crash

Updated: Tuesday, May 20 2014, 10:52 AM CDT

A tragedy on Easter that left a mother, father and son dead now has some wondering if it could have been prevented.

Newschannel at Nine's Nate Rodgers shows us how the incident is causing a local fireman to make certain that their deaths were not in vain.

Dispatch: "Champaign County 9-1-1 , what's the address or the emergency...head on collision, fire, they can't get out, they're trapped".
 Otis Doxtator, 65,  Dorothy Doxtator, 62, and Scott Doxtator, 33, now dead following a two vehicle crash in Homer near Route 49 on Easter Sunday. Patrick Flynn, a volunteer firefighter  and  his family were passing through but couldn't do much to help those trapped.

Patrick Flynn says, "We did the best job we could do with what little tools we had."

Flynn says as the fire department was in route, he and some other good Samaritans pulled Otis Doxtator from the car, but they weren't able to get to his wife or special needs son because the car doors were jammed and windows locked.  

"We believe if there would have been fire extinguishers or a window hammer of some sort in anybody's vehicle, that Mrs. Doxtator and their son would still be here today", Flynn says.

Thus, Flynn has been circulating petitions to city and state agencies, for Congress to mandate that all car manufacturers install fire extinguishers and window hammers in new cars. The Doxtator's son says it's a great idea.

Chris Doxtator says, "After hearing the details of the crash, what a difference that these tools could have made for my parensts and also my brother. It's just a great cause."

Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh is unsure if Flynn's proposal should be law but he certainly believes the window hammer will help save lives.   

"I think it is a very useful device. Many of our deputies carry it now but after he brought it to my attention, we're gonna order one for each of the squad cars", Sheriff Walsh said.

"This purpose here, this cause is something that my parents would be honored to know is moving forward", Doxtator says.

Flynn also said especially in rural areas, it could take firefighters a lot of time to get to a scene. So the more people that have these window hammers the better.  You can purchase them online or at your local  hardware store.

To sign the firefighters proposal, visit our website and search under web watch.

Local Firefighter Initiative After Family Dies In Car Crash

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