MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A father and son are being called heroes but it came at a high price. The father, Larry Hulett Patton, 63, was killed and his son, Larry Ray Patton, 33, was seriously injured. Ray Patton underwent a second surgery Wednesday.
Everything happened when the father and son helped a driver who was trapped in his car, after crashing into a utility pole in Whitehaven Thursday November 8, 2012. Another driver ran over the downed power lines. The lines snapped, killing Patton and critically injuring his son. Police need your help identifying the driver who ran over those power lines and left the scene.
Half the family attended Larry Hulett Patton's funeral Wednesday in Courtland, Mississippi and the rest of the family was at The MED in Memphis praying for his son's recovery. They're urging the driver to turn themselves in to police.
"It feels like a nightmare, it really does," said Ray Patton’s wife Katherine.
That nightmare started near a BP gas station in the 5600 block of Elvis Presley Boulevard last Thursday. Larry Hulett Patton and his son were working on the gas pumps. Around 11 that morning police say a driver lost control and crashed. When the Pattons ran over to help the driver, witnesses say a white SUV drove over the downed power lines causing them to snap from the pole and whip the Pattons 20 feet in the air.
"My father-in-law died instantly,” said Katherine Patton. “He really did die a hero and that was him."
The snapped power lines sliced Katherine's husband's chest from his neck all the way through his back.
“He has a torn colon that they have repaired but he has to wait until his bowels heal so that’ll be a while,” Mrs. Patton told ABC24 News.
The driver who crashed into the utility pole escaped with minor injuries. It's the driver in a white SUV police want to talk to. Investigators say surveillance pictures from a nearby gas station show the driver run over the power lines. Witnesses say they're angry the driver never stopped.
"The one that came through here with the wires like that they had to know what was going on so that's why I was a little bit upset,” said witness Moses Truelove.
Katherine Patton says her husband and his father were just being good Samaritans and didn't deserve this. She had this to say to the runaway driver, “I hope whoever it was will see it and turn themselves in or go in and say, ‘Hey, I'm sorry, I didn't know.’ Just come forward, give us closure and let us know we deserve to know."
Katherine Patton says her husband underwent a second surgery and has a bad infection. They have a 4 year old daughter and a 4 month old son. If you have any information about the driver of that white SUV call Memphis Police.