Monday, June 27, 2005


Elderly man dies after electric cut stops his oxygen

`An 86-year-old man with emphysema died minutes after Lakeland Electric cut off electricity to his son’s home, shutting down his oxygen machine.

One day after Richard Howerton brought his terminally ill father John home from a nursing home, Lakeland Electric cut off the power to his home in Kathleen because he was late paying his bill.

“What they did was cruel and inhumane,” Joyce Howerton said of her father-in-law’s death. “It was despicable.”

Utility workers didn’t know a sick, elderly man was inside the home when the power was cut off on June 14. When the power was cut, the oxygen machine stopped and he died shortly after.

Records show that Richard and Joyce Howerton were chronically behind on their bills.’

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