My belief that MTV reality TV star Shain Gandee’s death may prove to be a teachable moment Wednesday got a boost, when The Huffington Post called to interview me about carbon monoxide fatalities.

The Huffington Post asked me about the demise of Gandee, who was featured on “Buckwild,” and two other men when they went out “mudding” in rural West Virginia last weekend.  As soon as I heard that the bodies of the three had been found in Gandee’s Ford Bronco truck, I blogged they they had to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

And I wrote a follow-up blog yesterday when authorities released the results of the autopsies of Gandee and the other two men: carbon monoxide poisoning. Gandee’s truck had sunk into the mud so deep that its muffler was totally covered, as well as its exhaust pipe.

That meant that his truck filled with lethal carbon monoxide, which killed him and his two passengers. The Huffington Post explained about the sport of “mudding,” or off-road driving, is increasingly popular. I don’t see its appeal, but for 21-year-olds like Gandee, it is fun.

I explained to The Huffington Post that it takes “minutes, not moments,” for carbon monoxide to do its killing, depriving the bloodstream of its needed oxygen.

The writer couldn’t understand why people who are in a mud-bound truck, starting to feel ill, would not open their vehicle windows or suspect they were being poisoned.

But as I explained, it is not as crazy as it sounds. In a situation like Gandee was in, stuck and probably cold, people don’t want to open their windows to let in the cold.

That’s why motorists stuck in snow sometimes are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning after their tailpipe gets blocked by snow. If you are stuck in a blizzard, you are not about to roll down your window.

In any event, The Huffington Post is a popular website, and I expect that many people will read the blog regarding the dangers of carbon monoxide and cars stuck in mud or snow. Perhaps some lives will be saved.

The headline on The Huffington Post story was perfect and said it all: “Shain Gandee Dead: On ‘Mudding,’ ‘Buckwild,’ And How Not To Die In Your Truck.”




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