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November 4, 2012

PUBLIC FORUM: Certification matters in coroner's election

— Every family can only hope and pray that they never need the personal service of a county coroner. It is by far the most traumatic time in one’s life and usually follows a sudden death or accident. An examination can occur at other times also.

Through my 24 years as a legislator, we had several times when the public, in various parts of our state, witnessed the sad results of not having the most competent and experienced investigation.  

Case in point: An accident occurred on April 26, 2006, on Interstate 69, when seven young girls from Taylor University were involved in a tragic head-on collision with a semi. Five were killed instantly, and one of those killed was mistakenly identified as someone else.  Whitney Cerak was pronounced dead, only later to be declared alive due to the coroner and crash scene investigators falsely identifying Whitney Cerak as Laura VanRyn.

As a result of this accident, some in the General Assembly proposed legislation to mandate certification and training to avoid this type of situation from occurring in the future.  

We need the most qualified, experienced and certified coroner when it matters most. George Franklin is the only certified and fully qualified coroner candidate we have running.

Experience and certification does matter. George also has 23 years of police investigation, training and skills to know what to look for at an accident scene.

Please vote for George Franklin on Nov. 6.

Tom Weatherwax, former state senator

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