Heat Blamed for Four Deaths in Wiregrass

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The heat has claimed the lives of four people in the wiregrass. Three of them didn't have air circulation in their homes.

August 6th 53 year old Abbeville resident Robert Sanders died after working outside and attempting to ride his bike home.

On August 10th, the body of 60 year old Frankie O’Neal Turner was discovered in his mobile home in Edwin.

He didn't have a working air conditioner.

And though Henry County Coroner Derek Wright says Turner had other health problems. The heat is what caused his death.

The same for 95 year old Headland resident Lillie Mae McHellon who had an air conditioner but if it got too cold she'd turn it off.

Her body was discovered August 15th.

"When you have 10 straight days of 100 plus weather, these people did not have air conditioning in their homes. Neither one of them and over that period of time there homes will heat up," says Henry County Health Dept. Administrator Ron Wheeler.

Medical reports show heat can take its toll on people ages 65 and older. If you don't have air circulating in your homes it can make matters even worse.

"What we recommend they do is take a cold shower and cool down. We also ask if you have neighbors that are elderly or kinfolks that are elderly to check on them at odd periods during the day." says wheeler.

In Coffee County a 60 year old man died as well.

Elba branch coroner Marvin McIlwain wouldn't release the victims name but says he worked outside and returned to a house with no air conditioning.

He didn't have a history of medical problems. But authorities say he also didn't have enough electrolytes.

Officials say to stay hydrated, grab your bottled water, go buy a sports drink.

If you work outside, take breaks because if you don't it can turn fatal.

There's been a cooling station set up in the Henry County Health Department in Abbeville. Still, people aren't taking advantage of it.

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