1 dead after E. coli outbreak in Tulsa

Monday, August 25th 2008, 7:50 pm
By: News 9

By Jeffrey Smith for NEWS 9

TULSA, Okla. -- A food borne illness may have caused the death of an Oklahoma man and led to the hospitalization of dozens more. All the victims of the outbreak had eaten at a restaurant in Locust Grove last week.

"I think I'm having a nightmare and I'm going to wake up soon, that's what I think. My son is gone," Doris Ingle said.

Ingle's 26-year-old son, Chad Ingle, died in an area hospital on Sunday. He got sick after eating at a restaurant in Locust Grove and was in the hospital by Thursday.

Doctors suspect it was E. coli.

"My son is gone, just from eating bad food and we know it's food. He had no health problems, whatsoever. He's been healthy all of his life, never gone to the doctor or anything like that," Ingle said.

She said she still hears her son's voice telling her ‘I love you.'

"He'll call me on the phone or send me an e-mail and it's always so sweet. ‘Mom, I love you, tell Dad I love him,'" Ingle said.

The 26-year-old was looking forward to becoming a dad himself. Two months ago, he tied the knot with the love of his life.

"He'd been married the last two months, and the happiest I've ever seen him," his father Lawrence Ingle said.

People like his boss at RCB Bank, Tim Cutsinger, said Chad was a shining star, in and out of the office.

"You could see the love he had for his wife, and that's the tough part, because it was such a new relationship," Cutsinger said. "Two months of marriage. Two months. It's crazy. I'm sorry."

The Health Department said they ran a four hour inspection of the restaurant over the weekend and gave it a clean bill of health.

Investigators are looking into what caused the outbreak.