As he did often, 72-year-old James Rogers took his Shih Tzu to the Waffle House he frequented in Port Arthur, Texas on Monday in what his family said was his dream car: a 2007 Chevrolet Corvette. Unfortunately, getting trapped in that car was what cost Rogers and his dog their lives.

USA Today reports on Rogers’ sad death from heat exhaustion after he got stuck inside the sports car in the Waffle House parking lot. His dog, Leia, also died.

Police believe a cable came loose and cut off the power to the car when he and the dog were inside, rendering him unable to open the doors, lower the windows or honk the horn. He couldn’t call for help because he left his phone in the Waffle House, but still made what was described as “a valiant attempt to escape.” Emergency crews who arrived struggled to get him out as well and eventually had to break a window, but it was too late.

Getting locked in a C6 Corvette is a somewhat common problem for owners — without power or when the battery goes dead, the locks won’t operate. There is a mechanical release lever in the floor, but police don’t think Rogers knew about that. He may have been trying to find it, as when he was found he may have been searching through the owners’ manual.

Poor Mr. Rogers and Leia. Just a terrible story all around.


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