CLAREMORE, Okla. – The widow of a Claremore firefighter who died in the line of duty last year is taking action to prevent the situation from happening again.
Shelly Farley says the past year has been a nightmare for her and her 16-year-old daughter. Captain Jason Farley died during a water rescue in Claremore in May 2015.
Capt. Farley was part of the Claremore Fire Department for 19 years.
“Yes, he knew that he had a dangerous job, but that particular incident should not have taken his life,” said Shelly Farley.
Capt. Farley was one of seven CFD personnel working on evacuating residents from Archer Court due to flash flooding. According to Fire Chief Sean Douglas, Farley slipped or fell into the area around a storm drain. All CFD personnel on scene rushed to help Farley.
When it became clear Farley was caught in the storm pipe, the Claremore Street Department responded with heavy equipment and the Verdigris Fire District retrieved Farley's body two hours after he went missing.
Now Shelly Farley is suing the city of Claremore to try and prevent another incident like the one her family went through from happening again.
She says since her husband’s death, the City of Claremore has put up guard rails over the drain pipe to help citizens and first responders be more aware that there is a storm drain in the area.
“We feel confident that what we put in June of last year is an added protection as it relates to water inlets in the city of Claremore,” said Jim Thomas, Claremore’s city manager.
The city manager would not comment on the allegations, only to say that what transpired on May 21, 2015 was a tragic accident.
Farley, however, believes her husband’s death could have been prevented.
Shelly Farley said, “Had that guard rail been there the night of the call, my husband would still be alive.”