Experts Share Warning Signs Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After Deaths Of 2 High School Students

The students who died were in a parked car near 21st and Yale, and it’s raised some questions about how this poisoning could happen outdoors.

Thursday, October 26th 2023, 5:17 pm



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The deaths of two Will Rogers College high school students, Jacob Lara and Kadence Brown, were caused by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Tulsa Police Department.

The students who died were in a parked car near 21st and Yale, and it’s raised some questions about how this poisoning could happen outdoors.

Investigators found that while the vehicle was on and parked in the Dunkin Donuts lot, lethal amounts of carbon monoxide filled the passenger compartment.

"Well, I will tell you what my reaction was,” Jeff Mckelroy, Tulsa Auto Doc Mechanic, said. “It was kind of a 'what?' 'really?' because I am telling you, it's that rare."

Mckelroy has been a mechanic for forty years and says people can take basic steps to make sure their car is safe from leaks like this.

"We always want to do a basic safety inspection,” Mckelroy said.

If a car's exhaust system is broken or leaking into the cabin, the signs of those malfunctions are loud and smelly—even though Carbon Monoxide doesn’t have a scent.

"There are obvious signs with an exhaust leak, you get discoloration, you'll have potentially smoke, those kinds of things,” Mckelroy said. “Especially, you can get a smell with an exhaust leak."

Andy Little with the Tulsa Fire Department says there are certain symptoms people need to watch out for when carbon monoxide is present.

"Things like dizziness, nausea, headaches, the feeling like you might need to vomit, stomach aches, confusion, weakness,” Little said. “If you notice any of these things when you are in your vehicle, it's a good idea to get out, turn it off, and get to a place that has fresh air."

This is an ongoing investigation, and a full report from the Medical Examiner’s office will be completed soon.

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