LUCAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – On Wednesday two men that were found deceased in a work van in Lucas are a father and son. The Collin County Sheriff’s Department said it appears the van rolled to a stop in the cul-de-sac off Thunder Bay Drive and Enchanted Way.
Authorities say the bodies of 49-year-old Ross Powell and his 72-year-old father Lyle were discovered in the lawn care van. Ross Powell had just opened his lawn care franchise, lawn doctor of McKinney/Allen, last month. He had left behind a career in baseball, which included stints as a major league pitcher for Houston, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Family members say he was extremely close to his 72-year-old father, Lyle, who was in the van with him yesterday.
When a sheriff’s deputy opened the door, he was overcome by fumes.
Hazmat was called in, and neighbors were kept away. “We smelled, almost an ammonia odor but not exactly, and it tasted sweet in the air,” says Lucas EMS worker Aaron Alderdice.
Alderdice was one of the first ones on scene. “We had no idea what was onboard. It was right around the school. We had school buses coming through, kids getting off, walking home, trying to see what we’re doing.”
Alderdice and four colleagues had also been exposed to the fume and were all taken to the hospital for decontamination, as was the sheriff’s deputy. Alderdice was back at work last night, saying he was never worried about himself.
The medical examiner ruled the deaths as carbon monoxide poisoning. Investigators are now trying to determine the source of the fumes in the lawn care van.