Contact 5 Investigators win prestigious award

Special report exposed dangers of keyless cars

NewsChannel 5 ‘s Contact 5 Investigator Katie LaGrone and Contact 5 photojournalist Jim Sitton are being honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in video reporting: hard news for their investigative piece entitled "Keyless Cars." The award is presented by the Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

The investigation exposed safety concerns over keyless-start cars, and included the first and only interview with a local victim who nearly died after his girlfriend left her keyless car running in the garage of their townhome. His girlfriend died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In pursuit of the story, LaGrone and Sitton worked with local firefighters to show, firsthand how quickly cars left running in enclosed spaces can become deadly due to carbon monoxide poisoning. While the federal government has been documenting this for years, the government is now in the process of revising safety guidelines for car manufacturers to adhere to when designing keyless cars.

WPTV NewsChannel 5 Vice President & General Manager Steve Wasserman is elated that the hard work of our Contact 5 Investigators has been rewarded by such a distinguished organization. "What our investigative unit strives for with each and every story, is to make our communities safer, our viewers more aware, and our local government and businesses more accountable. The work of Katie LaGrone and Jim Sitton is a great example of the ongoing commitment of WPTV to the communities we serve."

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