Local firefighters lend a hand with major yard work for man injured in snowy I-70 crash

PLATTE CITY, Mo. -- The snow cleared, but the pain of a horrible wreck on Interstate 70 near Oak Grove back in February is still close to many in the community.

On Friday, Sni-Valley firefighters who came to the rescue helped one of the survivors again. A group of the firefighters did some serious yard work for James Henderson.

He's in rehab in Wyoming for injuries from the crash, which involved more than 40 cars. He spent more than two months in the hospital before that.

Henderson's wife, Linda, was in the car with him but didn't survive. She was a longtime Girl Scout troop leader. Her granddaughter, Lara Henderson, said Linda was her best friend.

Linda and James Henderson (photo courtesy of the Henderson family)

James Henderson lived in his Platte City home for more than 50 years before the crash on I-70. When Sni-Valley Fire heard the grieving family needed help taking care of the yard, they jumped at the chance to fill the need.

"I just thought it was time to help out," Josh Riley said.

Riley was one of the Sni-Valley firefighters who saved Henderson. He and his co-workers spent Friday at Henderson's house, where his granddaughter is staying while he's away. They cut trees, pulled weeds and planted flowers.

"We noticed on Facebook the family needed help with some landscaping," Riley said. "We came out about three weeks ago and met the family, and it was overgrown."

So Riley got one of his co-workers, who does landscaping on the side, to come up with a plan for the once-overgrown yard.

"We'll get it cleaned up ready to go so whenever he comes back this won't be an overgrown mess. Hopefully he'll have a nice clean home to come home to," said Josh Bond, a Sni-Valley firefighter and paramedic.

Sni-Valley Fire paid for the materials for the landscaping from its association fund. Every member of the department contributes $15 per paycheck for community outreach.

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