Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Dad Who Did (Almost) Everything Right...

Paxon Thomas Jordan was seven years-old on July 1, 2007. An only child, everyone said Paxon was wise beyond his years. Certainly his parents loved him and wanted the best for him. They knew it was illegal to shoot fireworks in the city of Athens, but the big back yard of their upscale West Athens home was just perfect. There wasn't anyone more safe or methodical than Paxon's father. It would be so entertaining for Pax and his 13 year-old friend from next door.

On July 4th, Shannon Jordan purposely waited until nine o'clock to start the fireworks; he wanted the best possible show for the two boys. He placed the Smoke & Mirrors rocket on a table, making sure Paxon and his friend were 30 feet away as safety experts suggest. He lit the fuse, then rushed to stand beside the two boys. It would be something for them both to remember.

The family dog saw the lit fuse and ran toward the table, knocking it over just as the rocket took flight. Instead of an upward trajectory, the small missile headed toward the three onlookers--it hit Paxon just a few inches above the heart. The young boy dropped to the ground, no longer breathing. The rocket exploded three feet from his body.

As  Beth Jordan drove the short distance to Athens-Limestone Hospital, Shannon performed CPR. Physicians were in the emergency department waiting to receive Pax. They worked for shortly over an hour before they emerged to tell the Jordans that at the age of seven years and three days their son was dead.

Both DHR and the Alabama BATF investigated Paxon's death. In the end, no charges were filed against the parents. The mayor himself said that they had suffered enough.

Please be careful tomorrow!


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