A Green Country community is pulling together to help the family of man killed at a steel plant. Elmer "Pistal" Crane was just 23 years old. News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports the Iraq War veteran leaves behind a wife and two small children.
Elmer "Pistal" Crane escaped Iraq with his life, but it came to a tragic end in what his family calls a freak accident on the homefront. His death affected so many people in Inola and many of them have hope to help his family mend their broken hearts.
After a year in war torn Iraq, Inola's own was finally home and Pistal Crane's family could finally get some sleep.
"If I wasn't tossing and turning, his mother was, and we just kind of kept each other awake during that whole year," said Pete Crane.
The beloved son, husband and father could finally get back to civilian life. He got to know his new daughter and started working with dad. The two were working together when something went wrong.
"Every ten minutes you ask yourself why it happened. Something like this has never happened to us like that over there. It's a freaky thing. I'll always ask myself why," said Pete Crane.
Pistal got trapped between two pieces of machinery. He later died at the hospital.
His high school sweetheart, now widowed, says she's keeping herself busy by focusing her energy on their two children who are too small to understand.
"Right now they just know that Daddy is in heaven with Jesus, watching over them. He's their angel," said Rachel Crane.
And, the family says people in Inola have also served as guardian angels. Many of them have donated to a memorial fund set up for Pistal's children.
Meanwhile, the Bennett Steel Plant and OSHA are investigating the accident.
A memorial fund for the Pistal Crane Family has been set up at the 1st Bank Oklahoma of Inola.
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