Good Samaritan suffers fatal heart attack after stopping to help teen left to die in road
ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - A 56-year-old Greater Cincinnati man is dead from a heart attack he suffered after finding a teenage boy mortally wounded on the side of the road Monday morning and assisting first responders, his family tells FOX19 NOW.
Doug Stansell, 56, was pronounced dead just after lunchtime at Mercy Hospital Anderson, just hours after his cardiac arrest, his wife confirms.
Earlier, before he passed away, his family said they attributed the heart attack to the stress and trauma of seeing the youngster left for dead in the street.
“My dad is one of the most kindest, nicest, big-hearted men you ever could meet. You couldn’t ask for a better father or a better best friend,” said his oldest son, Jon Stansell.
Monday was a double tragedy.
The teen the Stansell family spotted lying unresponsive in the 8000 block of Clough Pike - right outside his home as it turns out - and went back to try to help also died at the same hospital.
Anderson High School sophomore Eli Jones, 15, was pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital Anderson after an ambulance transported him there, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies blame the teen’s death on a vehicle that struck him and then fled the scene.
Before Doug Stansell died, Christina Stansell, contacted FOX19 NOW as they kept vigil before dawn Monday and prayed for his recovery at the hospital.
She said they were keeping Eli and his parents in their hearts and prayers as well.
“We just want to send condolences to the family,” she said.
Her husband and sons spotted Eli as they drove to pick up her daughters from a late-night shift at Taco Bell nearly.
One of his sons, Jon Stansell, 21, tells FOX19 NOW his father initially believed it was a garbage can in the street but Jon Stansell immediately feared the worst.
“It was dark. I said, ‘Dad, it’s a body,’” he recalled.
His father turned around to check. Jon Stanssell says he called 911.
As they approached the object in the road, they realized it was a person and that person was unresponsive, Jon Stansell recalled.
They waited until first responders and an ambulance arrived.
Jon Stansell says his father seemed fine and appeared to be acting as normal as one could in the situation.
He was talking to deputies and gave them an official statement.
About 45 minutes later, Doug Stansell and his sons left to retrieve their sisters at Taco Bell.
His dad seemed fine again, driving the remaining six minutes or so to the closed fast-food restaurant.
“I guess once he parked, he let everything sink in,” his son recalled. “I don’t know if it was too much for him to handle.”
They were sitting in their Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot, waiting for the sisters to come out when he said his dad just passed out in the front seat.
“He was talking to me and then he looked quiet and fainted back and rolled his head toward me,” Jon recalled. “He couldn’t talk or breathe.”
Doug Stansell stopped breathing and his son said he gave him chest compressions to try to resuscitate him.
Medical staff at the hospital were able to get his pulse back and tried other life-saving measures but, ultimately, it all was just too much, his family says.
“Dad sadly passed away at 12:30 p.m. He took his final breath with his family around,” his son wrote in a Go Fund Me fundraiser he organized later Monday.
So far, it’s raised $3,460 toward a $20,000 goal to help with funeral and other expenses.
Several of the donors are listed as “anonymous,” including one who contributed $200 and others who gave $150 and $100.
“Dad was beloved by so many people and he always tried to brighten up someone’s day,” Jon Stansell wrote. “Funeral Arrangements will be posted as soon as they’re arranged! I’m sorry you had to find out over the internet! God Bless!”
Meanwhile, sheriff’s officials continue to search for the vehicle that took off after hitting Eli.
It was last seen turning into a driveway on Clough Pike and fleeing east on Clough Pike toward Clermont County, deputies say.
Based on car parts they found left at the scene including a right fender well, investigators surmise the striking vehicle is a Honda Civic.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the sheriff’s Traffic Safety Unit at 513-825-1500.
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