i can't wait to get the scoop on this one tomorrow morning at the corner restuarant...www.timesreporter.com/left.phpTeacher clings to life -- Carrollton educator allegedly set himself on fire, is 'critical'
By JOE MIZER, T-R Staff Writer
MAGNOLIA – Carrollton High teacher Todd Casper was clinging to life Tuesday night in Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron with third-degree burns over most of his body.
Casper, 40, of 3400 Bronze Rd. NW, Carrollton, was critically injured Tuesday at about 4:30 p.m. in a fire that he is believed to have set himself near Magnolia.
Sgt. Barbara Gardner of the Magnolia Police Department said her investigation has led her to suspect that Casper’s injuries were a result of an attempted suicide.
She said Casper sustained third-degree burns over all of his body, except for his feet, which were protected from the fire by the hiking boots he was wearing.
Roxie Long of Zoarville, one of the first people on the scene, said she was driving on Rt. 183 when she saw a man “engulfed in flames” walking toward the highway.
Long said she drove by a short distance, then turned around and went back as he crossed the highway in front of her car and walked into a yard.
Another motorist who was following her stopped at the same time, put Casper down on the ground and rolled him to put out the flames.
Long said she and others at the scene thought there had been a car wreck because they could see a fire on the road from where Casper had walked. But Casper said, “I didn’t wreck,” she said.
“I said, ‘What happened?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ ”
Long said an ambulance from the nearby Quad Ambulance Service arrived within two to three minutes.
In the meantime, several other passersby, including a registered nurse, stopped at the scene. The nurse instructed them to pour water on Casper, which a resident did.
Ambulance personnel, Long said, took Casper to a field on the opposite side of the road, from where he was flown by helicopter to the burn unit of the Akron hospital.
Gardner noted that Casper’s car was found nearby on an unnamed gravel road that leads from Minerva Rd. (Rt. 183) to Sandy Creek Dam. She said the car was destroyed by fire, and firefighters found a gasoline can inside it.
Casper is Carrollton High’s language arts, competitive speech and musical theater teacher. He also is the speech debate team adviser, head high school musical adviser and drama director.
Fellow teacher Karen Curry, speech debate team assistant adviser and middle school play director, said Casper is a tireless worker “totally devoted to the speech team.” She said he also is directing the musical “Footloose,” which is scheduled for a Nov. 16 performance.
Curry noted that Casper normally reports to work at 6 a.m. and doesn’t go home until 8 or 9 p.m. He is unmarried and lives with his parents, whom he supports, she said.
i grew up in akron childrens' hospital. its' burn unit is one of the finest in the nation...but, i doubt this guy makes it if the descriptions of his burns are accurate.
say a prayer for this fellow...he needs it.