Blocked Tailpipe Led To Carbon Monoxide Deaths Of Three In Maine

Three people died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a Jeep in Maine because the vehicle’s tailpipe was blocked by mud in a blog, according to the Kennebec Journal. It’s a hell of a way to die for a group of friends that was just doing off-road driving for some weekend relaxation.

http://www.kjonline.com/news/trio-may-tried-to-avoid-deadly-fumes_2012-05-14.html

The bodies of Reginald Gay, 41, his wife Samantha Davis-Gay, 33, and Luke Thompson, 22, were found Saturday night in a Jeep Wrangler in Windsor, Maine.

“Investigators believe the three died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning after the Jeep became stuck in a bog and continual revving created excessive exhaust,” the Kennebec Journal wrote.

Authorities said that the Jeep’s exhaust system normally would vent from a tailpipe, but when the vehicle got stuck in the blog the pipe was buried in the mud, blocked by it, according to the Kennebec Journal. That meant that the exhaust fumes filtered into the vehicle instead, killing its passengers.

The article pointed out that the incident was reminiscent of cases when victims die of carbon monoxide poisoning after their car’s tailpipe gets blocked by snow. For example, people stuck in a snowstorm may leave their car engine running to keep warm, but then die because their tailpipe was plugged up by snow.

According to the newspaper, authorities believe that the three victims may have opened the Jeep’s windows at some point because of the smell of the exhaust that the hard-top vehicle was giving off.  It’s unlikely they knew about the carbon monoxide, since it is odorless and colorless — which is what makes it so dangerous.

In fact, the story noted that in December 2010, three people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, but survived, when their car got stock in mud in Kennebec County.

A captain with the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department  told the newspaper that if the three victims had opened the back window of the Jeep, it “would have created an air exchange” and then no one would have perished.

Alcohol was found in the Jeep, but authorities wouldn’t comment on whether the victims had been drinking.

 

 

 

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