Mennonite Family Not Killed By Methane On Dairy Farm

August 27, 2007

A family of four and a worker killed on a dairy farm died from hydrogen sulfide, not methane, a coroner's report revealed.

Police originally assumed that it was methane that claimed the lives of Scott Showalter, his wife, Phyillis, and their young daughters Shayla and Christina, and farm worker, Amous Stoltzfus.

Rockingham County Sheriff Don Farley says assumptions that methane killed them were false. Dr. Stephen Phillips, of Rockingham Memorial Hospital, told members of the Mennonite community that it was instead hydrogen sulfide. The gas dulls victims' sense of smell as it reaches toxic levels.

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