Widow Of Claremore Firefighter Killed In Flash Flood Sues City

Monday, May 9th 2016, 6:45 pm
By: News On 6

The widow of a Claremore firefighter who drowned while rescuing residents from a flash flood in 2015 filed suit against the city on Monday.

Captain Jason Farley, a nearly 20-year veteran of the fire department, died on the night of May 23, 2015.

Shelli Farley, his wife, filed the wrongful death lawsuit, seeking in excess of $75,000 in damages.

5/24/2016: Related Story: Claremore Firefighter Who Drowned During Flood Rescue Identified

Claremore Fire Chief Sean Douglas said Captain Farley was attempting to rescue residents on Archer Court and Highway 20 on the west side of town. 

Douglas said other firefighters attempted to rescue Captain Farley. Farley and Lieutenant Zane James were sucked into a pipe. The water swept James out the other end, but Farley became trapped and drowned.

The lawsuit accuses the city of failing to comply with the National Fire Protection Association standard for training for swift water rescues. The suit claims the city did not have a formal training program for swift water rescues at the time of Captain Farley's death and didn't hold its first class until two months after Farley died.

The suit also claims the city is at fault for not putting a grate over the drainage pipe or a fence around the opening.