Elderly man, dog die because car doors wouldn’t unlock

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James Rogers and his dog (PHOTO: KBMT)

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — A Texas man and his dog died after they became trapped inside the man’s car because the doors wouldn’t unlock.

Port Arthur police officials told KBMT 72-year-old James Rogers was found unresponsive inside his vehicle with his dog, Leia.

The door locks in his 2007 Chevy Corvette are completely electric, and officers say it appears the battery cable came loose while the pair was inside the car. With no power, the doors would not unlock.

The fire department was called and they had trouble getting inside the vehicle, according to KBMT. When they finally got inside, they found Rogers and Leia dead.

Authorities say there is evidence the man struggled to get out of the car before he died.

Officials say his death was likely a result of the heat.

The victim was not able to call anyone for help because he accidentally left his cell phone at a Waffle House.

Corvette experts say there is a manual release inside the vehicle, but most people don’t know about it. The release is usually located on the left-hand side of the floorboard by the driver and the right-hand side by the passenger. However, many people say the lever is difficult to see.

James Rogers and his dog (PHOTO: KBMT)

James Rogers and his dog (PHOTO: KBMT)

Google Map for coordinates 29.884950 by -93.939947.


  • wisill

    I’ve always tried to stay away from cars/trucks with electric door locks and windows, never trusted them. Unfortunately you can’t always have what you want when you buy used vehicles. I have a Ford Explorer will have to see if it has manual releases should I run into the same problem, otherwise I just carry a hammer or something stout enough to break a window if need be.

    • Wilson

      Hey wisill, don’t want to confuse you or get too technical for you but the so-called manual door release on your explorer is called a door handle. If your door is locked and you are inside your vehicle you can actually pull the door handle to “ESCAPE” from your explorer… Geez soory to confuse you….

  • john callies

    Pick up one of those little gadgets at menards, fleet farm etc. It has a little pointed end which is used as a punch which will break any car window in an emergency including underwater by just tapping the window. You do not even have to hit it hard to break the window. The gadget also has a seatbelt cutter, a small led light and a digital tire gauge , fits in the palm of your hand and only costs about 5-6 bucks. Could be a lifesaver.

    • Wilson

      Yes great idea John. Then right after you buy it test it on your car window to make certain it will actually break it so you don’t get trapped inside your vehicle later, have a loose battery cable and then discover that the little gadget you bought is actually an ice scraper and won’t break you window no matter how hard you hit the glass… You can never be too prepared you know….

  • Rick G

    This is article is full of BS. There is no such thing as” completely electric” there is a manual door lock on the inside. I am sorry that they died but this is stupid.

    • Wilson

      Agreed Rick, this is why old guys shouldn’t drive at all. By the way that’s generally the type of drivers you see behind the wheel of a corvette is old guys with gray hair because they are the ones most likely to have the cash to purchase those overpriced cars.

  • streetsmart

    Corvettes are over rated junk nothing but a revamped camaro and all corvettes re death traps even in minor crashes

  • Vince

    It’s important to read the owner’s manual to prevent these problems. The emergency handles may have been missed but it’s a pretty well known the Corvettes have targa tops which can be removed from inside the car. Something is amiss with this accident.

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