Why We’re Here: Lori Webb

Lori Webb sitting on chairLori Webb was a sweet little 4-year-old with pigtails.  She was supposed to have had a sleepover that late summer night with grandparents, but she told her Nannie that she “better not spend the night because mommy and daddy might be lonesome.”

So instead, she was riding with her parents, Roy and Millie, and her cousin, Mitch, when an underage drinking driver slammed into the back of their car causing it to burst into flames.  Lori, Millie, and Mitch were thrown from the car as it flipped over them, dropping gasoline and flames on their bodies.  Lori’s father did his best to extinguish the fire from his burning family using his bare hands.  But Lori was burned on 75% of her body.

The crash was August 14, 1971.  For two weeks she suffered.  In the 70’s, burn victims were given nothing for pain because doctors were concerned that if they slept too much, their lungs would fill with fluid and they would develop pneumonia.  (Today’s doctors mercifully put severe burn victims into a medically-induced coma.)  So Lori was alert and asking for her parents.  Sadly, the little girl who had been so concerned about her parents being lonesome, spent 14 days alone in agony.  Although she was surrounded by loving family, she, heartbreakingly, was unable to be comforted by her mother and father as they fought for their own lives in separate hospital rooms and did not even learn of her passing until after she was buried.  She succumbed to her burns on August 28, 1971.  Roy and Millie never got to tell their baby goodbye, wipe her tears, or hold her hand in an effort to console her.