Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013
Locals Mourn Explosion Victims
WSIL -- The Florida state fire marshal's office is still investigating a weekend car explosion that claimed the life one local man and injured another.
Authorities are calling that blast a freak accident. 58-year-old Dr. Luis Lopez remains in critical condition at a Florida hospital.
The Benton man was vacationing in Destin when he was injured in the explosion late Saturday. Thirty-five-year-old Michael Brower of Carterville died in the blast.
Friends say the two men were in Destin working on Dr. Lopez's vacation home.
"We all miss him and we all love him," said Herrin resident Sunnie Simmons.
She has known Dr. Luis Lopez nearly her entire life and credits him with saving her son's life.
"When he was four days old my son stopped breathing completely and Dr. Lopez was there," said Simmons. "If it wasn't for Dr. Lopez. No, he wouldn't be here."
Now, Simmons is one of many praying for Lopez's recovery.
The doctor was severely injured in a car explosion Saturday night in Destin Florida.
Friends say Lopez was in the area with his brother in-law John Brower and his nephew Michael Brower. John suffered only minor injuries in the blast, but Michael was killed.
"I'm just devastated and just feel so bad," explained Crystal Flora. "I'm just in shock."
Flora was a friend of Brower's and says he leaves behind a wife and three children.
"He was just always involved with his family and always there for them," said Flora. "They were his world."
Officials said Monday they believe acetelyne torches may have sparked the blast.
"I just feel like God is not done with Dr. Lopez yet," explained Simmons. "He's not done with him. He's a good guy. He's saving babies. He's got good karma."
A Prayer Vigil for both men will be held at Zeigler Town Circle Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Wind: 7 MPH
Humidity: 86 %