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Turn your car off in snow country if you fall asleep

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,411
0
SF
This is a crappy story, which could have been avoided if they had just turned off their car.

3 Squaw Valley workers found dead in car

Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A security guard at the Squaw Valley resort found the bod...

Three female employees of the Squaw Valley USA ski resort were found dead in their car Tuesday in what Placer County sheriff's officials believe was accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

The engine of the women's older American-made sedan was still running at 1:05 p.m. when a resort security guard found the woman's bodies slumped inside the vehicle in an employee parking lot at the resort, according to Placer County Sheriff's Sgt. John Giovannini.

Lacey Louann Sutton, 22, of Marysville, Sara Alice McCullah, 21, of Marysville, and a 17-year-old from Loma Rica whose name was not released because of her age, were pronounced dead.

"It appears as though it was accidental carbon monoxide poisoning," Giovannini said. "It appears as though their tail pipe was obstructed."

Investigators found no evidence of alcohol or other drug use, and there were no signs of foul play. It snowed 10 inches the night before, and Giovannini said the exhaust fumes probably got blocked and then seeped through the floorboards.

"Exhaust you can smell because of the other chemicals in it. Carbon monoxide has no smell, no taste, no color," he said. "If it's slow and starts building up you will get drowsy, you might get nauseous and you begin to lose consciousness."

As for what they were doing in the car, he said, "They are all friends, seasonal employees at Squaw Valley. They were living in employee housing on site. They were in their vehicle last night; it snowed. They are young people. Young people hang out in their cars. They have plenty to talk about."

There also are no indications that the women were trapped inside the vehicle. There was only about a foot of snow on the car and they easily could have opened the door and climbed out - if they knew they were in trouble.

Officials emphasized that travelers in snow country should never sleep inside their cars with the engine running because it is too easy for snow to drift and pile up around an exhaust pipe.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
ever heard of a woman dying in the kitchen from CO poisoning?

me either.
 

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
1
Oz
But in the mall or at a ski resort? Happens all the time.

Get back in the kitchen, make me a pie!
 

DirtyDog

Gang probed by the Golden Banana
Aug 2, 2005
6,599
0
This is a crappy story, which could have been avoided if they had just turned off their car.
Easy for a low-lander to say. I'll keep the engine running in 5 degree weather thank you.
 

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
1
Oz
That was something I learned from my dad at an early age.

However, they weren't from snow country, so they more then likely didn't know any better.

While it is really sad they died, from what I understand it is a pretty peaceful way to go.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,411
0
SF
Easy for a low-lander to say. I'll keep the engine running in 5 degree weather thank you.
I'm not talking about waiting the car while it warms up, but if you are going to be sitting around in the snow for several hours, turn it off and get a blanket out.
 

chuffer

Monkey
Sep 2, 2004
840
227
McMinnville, OR
sounds like bad luck to me. in a car with a properly functioning exhaust that isnt going to happen unless snow is accumulating at a ridiculously high rate.