PORT ARTHUR, Texas -- A Port Arthur man took his last breath in what he considered to be his dream car. 72-year-old James Rogers and his dog Leia got trapped inside his 2007 Corvette Monday afternoon.
Police believe heat exhaustion eventually killed the two.
Rogers' daughter Tricia Hernandez says her it's heartbreaking that his dream car ended up taking his life.
The freak accident happened in the parking lot of the Waffle House on Jimmy Johnson Boulevard in Port Arthur, where Rogers was a regular. M.J. Ponsegrau, another regular. was called to the scene by employees to try to get Rogers and his dog out.
But Ponsegrau says the two were already dead.
Mike Flash, owner of Corvette Specialties, told 12News that the 2007 Corvette has a manual release located on the floorboard by the driver's seat. But Rogers did not know that.
Ponsegrau says Rogers was not the only one unaware of that. He says he, along with first responders, also struggled finding away to get Rogers o out of the car.
Ponsegrau says eventually firefighters had to break the window.
He said, "There's is a way to get in, but it's not common knowledge."
Hernandez says police believe her dad made a valiant effort to escape, and possibly died while looking through the car's manual. He could not call for help because he had left his phone inside Waffle House.
As strange as the accident seems, 12News has learned it's not isolated. We spoke to a Groves man named Isabel Moreno. Moreno told us he owned a 2006 Corvette, and one day he got trapped inside of it in his garage, when the battery went out.
Fortunately he says in his case, after awhile the battery started recharging itself enough to be able to roll the window down, and he was eventually able to get out safely.
Rogers funeral will be at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, June 11, 2015 at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves with Reverend D. Stephen McCrate officiating.
A visitation for family and friends will be held on Thursday evening from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
Rogers is survived by three children and five grandchildren.