LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Orange County, Indiana is mourning a beloved veterinarian after he was involved in an accident at his home.
Dr. James William "Bill" McDonald, the owner of McDonald Veterinary Clinic, passed away Monday morning after being burned in an accident at his home.
The incident occurred Friday, Jan. 6 around 4:30 p.m. Orange County Sheriff Joshua Babcock confirmed that it was reported as an accident in the wood furnace outside Dr. McDonald's Rego home.
McDonald was talking, alert and drinking water when first responders arrived, Babcock said. Babcock explained that for burn patients alertness is not an indicator of the severity of injuries; sometimes patients are in shock.
McDonald was flown to UofL Hospital's Burn Unit. McDonald's wife suffered slight burns to her hands due to the incident, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.
Sheriff Babcock said he could not describe the loss of Dr. McDonald; it's so big for the close-knit community. He said he couldn't the find the words: "just devastating for his family and friends."
McDonald was a member of the Paoli Community School Corporation's Board of Trustees since 1994.
Gerald Jackson, Paoli Community Schools' interim superintendent offered this statement on McDonald's passing:
"He was a fine asset to our school, a remarkable resource for our community. I think so much of Bill. I'm a 71-year-old man and I cried, and it's hard to make me cry at this stage of life."
Jackson described McDonald as a "very kind and Christian man" and an "incredibly hard worker" who "will be missed so much by all who knew him."
McDonald leaves behind his wife Lindsay and their three children.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31 and 10 a.m. Thursday until his funeral begins. McDonald's funeral will be held Thursday, February 1 at 1:00 p.m. at the Paoli Christian Church in Paoli, Indiana, according to Dillman-Scott Funeral Home's website.