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Lory Yazurlo, Owner of Defunct Pig Sanctuary, Is Killed In Van Fire on John Anderson Highway

| September 22, 2016

lory yazurlo van pig sanctuary

The incinerated van this afternoon. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: Sept. 26

Lory Yazurlo, the 53-year-old owner of what was once a sprawling, 20-acre pig sanctuary in western Flagler, was killed early this morning as her van caught fire on John Anderson Highway, not far from her mother’s house. A paraplegic, Yazurlo was in the van, unable to get out.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s 911 dispatch center received a call from a witness just after 2 a.m. The witness was in the 3400 block of John Anderson Highway. He said the Ford van was fully engulfed in flames, “and that a person was in the vehicle,” a heavily censored sheriff’s incident report states.

The Ford van was in the southbound lane of the highway, and had reportedly had a tire change just four miles earlier, near State Road 100, with a towing service changing the tire. It was not initially clear what towing service it was. After the fire, the van was towed by John’s Towing of Bunnell. John Rogers, owner of John’s Towing, said: “We have no record of changing a tire last night.”

This evening, Yazurlo’s sister Leslie confirmed that a tire change had taken place earlier–but on County Road 302 around 11:30 p.m., by Roger’s Towing. Roger’s replaced a tire that had been barely a month old. “The tow driver told them the bearing was out on the wheel but it should be fine to get home,” Leslie Yazurlo said, also noting that her sister was with a friend who was driving the van.

On Sept. 26, J.C. Sarmento, president of Roger’s Towing, told FlaglerLive that Yazurlo’s account was inaccurate. He said Roger’s had charged the van’s tire somewhere on County Road 302, but that the van later pulled up at the Kangaroo gas station on State Road 100, seeing the Roger’s driver there, and complained to the driver that the van was making a noise. The Roger’s driver again jacked up the van at that gas station and told the driver–Yazurlo’s friend–that the van should not be driven.

“My driver told her not to drive it like that. He told them that it needs to be towed,” Sarmento said. “My driver never, ever told her that it was ok to drive it.” Rather, Sarmento said, the driver tried to get Yazurlo’s family to pick her up, but was not successful.

Lory herself had stayed in her wheelchair and was nearer the middle of the van, by the electric door that normally allows her to enter and exit the vehicle. But the door did not work after the fire broke out.

It’s not clear where or how the fire broke out. The left-rear tire was entirely missing after the van was towed. The three other tires were still on their rims, two of them apparently sustaining no damage, one of them sustaining severe damage. Lory’s friend had attempted to put out the flames in the rear of the van with some water that was at hand, was unsuccessful, tried to pull Lory out–Lory would eventually be found out of her wheelchair and between the two front seats–buit was also unsuccessful. She then ran to neighbors’ houses, knocking on their doors to seek help.

The fire was reported at 2:03 a.m. It was out at 2:20.

Yazurlo died just 700 yards from her mother’s house, where Yazurlo had been living.

For Charlene Yazurlo, Lory’s 74-year-old mother, this morning’s loss is the latest shock of many in the past years. Six years ago almost to the day–on Sept. 19, 2010–Yazurlo almost lost her grandson and another daughter, Leslie, in a shattering wreck on Old Kings Road that severed in half the car the two victims were driving in. Leslie Yazurlo was seriously hurt, but her son, Nate Truelove, then 7, was left in critical condition. Somehow, he survived, but needed long and expensive rehabilitative care. Charlene Yazurlo then led many fund-raising efforts on his family’s behalf as he slowly recovered. He eventually made great progress. Nate has been doing very well and is now in 8th grade at a Christian school in Volusia County.

In 2004, Nate’s 22-year-old father Dan was himself killed in a traffic crash: he had stopped with his wife on the side of I-95 in Volusia County to help another couple when a woman driving a suspended license crashed into him and the couple of he was helping, killing them all. Only his wife, Heather, survived. In 2000, Charlene Yazurlo lost her eldest daughter, who was killed by a drunk driver in a car crash. And in 2009, she lost another daughter, who died of an asthma attack.

While dealing with Nate’s ordeal in the fall of 2010, Charlene was helping her other daughter, Lory, contend with the controversies surrounding the 20-acre Pig Sanctuary in western Bunnell. Local health and county government authorities had been wrestling with Lory over the property, contending that it was not sanitary, while animal rights advocates rallied on Lory’s side. But in November 2010, the sanctuary went under a court-ordered quarantine, and later all 400 pigs on the property were gassed and removed.

This morning, Flagler County Fire Rescue’s Engine 92 reported to the scene of the van fire, as did the Palm Coast Fire Police. The sheriff’s office turned over the case to the state fire marshal’s office. An investigation is ongoing.

yazurlo van

Rear view of the van. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

yazurlo van

Side view. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

yazurlo van

Driver’s side view. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

pig sanctuary

The Pig Sanctuary at 596 County Road 90 East in west Bunnell had been Lory Yazurlo’s pride for many years until it was ordered closed. She still owned the property. (© FlaglerLive)

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14 Responses for “Lory Yazurlo, Owner of Defunct Pig Sanctuary, Is Killed In Van Fire on John Anderson Highway”

  1. ELIZABETH says:

    So sad. So much tragedy and sorrow in this family. My thoughts and prayers to the Mom. May they memories that you made with your daughter be held close to your heart and give you the strength you need to help with her passing.

  2. Michael Collins says:

    Very, Very Sad to hear about Lory.

  3. Geezer says:

    When good-hearted people perish, their absence is felt deeply.
    I didn’t know Lory, but have known about her, and what she tried to
    accomplish, which was a massive undertaking.

    And certainly, the family didn’t deserve this latest tragic occurrence.
    Why do bad things like this happen to good people?

    I extend my heartfelt condolences to Lory’s family and friends, and
    personally lament her loss.

  4. A Little Common Sense Please says:

    My condolences and prayers go out to the Yazurlo family. These folks have had a rough time of it, for a long time. Lory, fought long and hard for what she believed in, and I respect and admire her determination, and strength of character with the disability she suffered from. I don’t know of anyone who tried any harder with such tenacity against adversity such as this women faced in her life. May you rest in peace Lory. you never got much peace on this earth.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a way to go. This is so sad. No one deserves what this woman has experienced. RIP

  6. County Road 90 East Native says:

    Lory has lived on my road since 1993 and I have never ever seen her drive a vehicle. The last 2-3 years when she would come out to feed the few animals she had left she was always a passenger. This story was just updated that she was not driving the van. I hope that the FCSO investigates this fully. There’s a lot to this story that is not being told.

  7. Anonymous says:

    They need to investigation

  8. Florida Native says:

    So sad. R.i.p Lory.

  9. Florida Gator says:

    This family is snake bit. RIP.

  10. ryan williams says:


  11. Shannon Green says:

    I’m heartbroken to hear this story. I was very close with her sister, Lynn, and know all of the tragedy this family has suffered. I’m not sure how much more their mom can take. Wonderful family that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for almost 25 years. Please post updates. Something isn’t right with this story at all. Why was Lory out so late? Why is a tire missing? Who changed the tire? Who is this “friend?”

  12. Greg says:

    Lori was one of the most caring people I have ever met in my life I take care of her animals at her farm I am not asking for help but any given would be appreciated she just loved her animals and people I know that she is looking down on us now smiling and walking and all she wants is her animals to be taken care of I will do the best I can for her there are still 2 horses and she recently got some about 18 pigs that have been fixed Lori you were the best and I will keep them together for you the best I can we love you Lori God bless you and your family

  13. Gerald FRED Jacobs says:

    She was a very nice person,and would give you any thing to help. She is with big Red, Bacon, and all her friends.

  14. Courtney Lynne Lowe says:

    Hey Greg, I recently learned of your friend and her love for animals through a mutual friend. If you need any help with the animals please don’t hesitate to email me at I would love to help with the animals.

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