Dad and 3-year-old son die from carbon monoxide poisoning after he left car running in garage to keep it warm in Kentucky
All three family members were taken to Southwest Hospital, where the father and three-year-old were pronounced dead, while the girl remains in critical condition
According to multiple reports, a Kentucky father and his three-year-old son have tragically died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning after they were found in the family's garage on Wednesday. The seven-year-old daughter, also found at the scene, is battling for life at a local hospital, People reports.
Louisville Police Department spokeswoman Lt. Emily McKinley told reporters that a family member found the three unresponsive in the Louisville garage, with the 39-year-old father outside the car and his two children inside the vehicle. The father, Juvenal Garcia Mora, and son, three-year-old Cruz Isaac Garcia, were later pronounced dead at the hospital while the girl remained in critical condition, according to the Courier-Journal.
Speaking to WLKY of the victims, Joan Johnson, a neighbor, said: "They were just a sweet, precious family. I just had such a good experience with them. They keep their place so nice and everything, this is awful."
While the father was preparing to take the seven-year-old to school, the mother had left for work, McKinley told reporters. He said the poisoning happened "very, very quickly" although it is unclear how long the trio was in the closed garage. "It appeared to be that he had warmed the car up while it was in the garage, and trying to get the kids out the door to school and start the day," McKinley said, calling the deaths a "horrific accident."
Father & son dead, daughter in critical condition after being found unconscious in family garage https://t.co/EVx0JaGsWW— WNKY TV (@wnkytv) November 29, 2018
McKinley continued: "This is just a reminder in the cold months to be cautious of running vehicles inside of closed, indoor areas, specifically garages. Be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. That is what this appears to be at this time."
Key ways to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning from your vehicle as listed by the CDC include the following:
1. Have a mechanic check the exhaust system of your car or truck every year. A small leak in the exhaust system can lead to a build-up of CO inside the car.
2. Never run your car or truck inside a garage that is attached to a house even with the garage door open. Always open the door to a detached garage to let in fresh air when you run a car or truck inside.
3. If you drive a car or SUV with a tailgate, when you open the tailgate open the vents or windows to make sure air is moving through. If only the tailgate is open CO from the exhaust will be pulled into the car or SUV.
According to the Courier-Journal, the coroner's office is currently working to confirm the cause of the deaths after the incident that happened in the Valley Station area of Pleasure Ridge Park.
Calling the situation "heartbreaking", another neighbor along with Johnson told WXIX that the family was more than just her neighbors. "This is my friend," she said. "[The boy] would walk behind his daddy, behind that lawn mower. He was timid but, he wanted to play."