June 15, 2013
Massachusetts Boy Dies Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Running Car To Escape The Cold

Boston, MASSACHUSETTS – A boy died from carbon monoxide poisoning waiting in a running car for heat.

The Boston fire department said the boy, 11, died after being overcome as he sat in a running car, waiting while his father shoveled snow to get the car out of a snow bank.

According to the New York Daily News, Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said the boy was helping his father shovel the snow Saturday. The boy got cold, so his father started the car to run the heater and the boy got inside.

MacDonald said the car exhaust was covered by the snow, causing the fumes to travel back into the vehicle.

When the boy was overcome by the fumes, the father went into respiratory arrest and emergency crews took both to Boston Medical Center. The boy was pronounced dead on arrival.

According to the LA Times, Mayor Thomas M. Menino referred to the boy’s death, which he called a "tremendously sad accident," as the backdrop of his Saturday afternoon message to the population of Boston:

"The danger of this storm is not over. … Please take care and use caution when cleaning up and getting back out on the streets. Our hearts go out to that family and their friends."
Mayor Thomas M. Menino implored the residents of Boston to remove snow around their exhaust pipes before turning on their cars. The Mayor also reminded residents to use flashlights instead of candles, avoid using generators indoors, and free fire hydrants from the snow.

Northeast states experienced a flurry of winter storm overnight Friday and Saturday morning before moving out to sea.

As the Boston Mayor said, remember to shovel the snow away from your exhaust before running the car. We don't need more carbon monoxide poisoning deaths.