Never Sit In A Snowed-In Car While Someone Is Shoveling You Out

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 
Image via Shutterstock

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills people every winter

At least six people died of carbon monoxide poisoning after snowstorm Jonas hit the Northeast last year. Most of them in cars. A tragic story emerged out of New Jersey, of a mom and her one-year-old dying from carbon monoxide poisoning in a car as the mom’s boyfriend worked to dig the car out of the snow.

Sashalynn Rosa, 23, was sitting in the car with her one-year-old son Messiah and three-year-old daughter Saniyah last Saturday afternoon. The three got in the car while her boyfriend dug out the vehicle. The tailpipe was blocked by snow, allowing carbon monoxide to seep into the car. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, undetectable gas.

From the Philly Voice: “Rosa sat in the car with her children for 10 to 20 minutes before her boyfriend, who was shoveling, knocked on the window of the four-door Mazda to get their attention. When none of them responded, he opened a door to wake them up but all three were unresponsive.” Rosa’s three-year-old is the only one to survive and is in critical condition. Rosa was FaceTiming a friend moments before her death. “She said the kids wanted to play outside,” the friend told People magazine. “She said we might as well start taking snow off the car. She was fine and we hung up. And then I got the news.”

“She was an amazing mom,” her friend told People. “If you saw her, you saw her kids with her. She was never not with them.”

How horrible — and all because they simply didn’t know that sitting in the car was dangerous. How could you, if you’d never been told or knew the danger carbon monoxide presents when a tailpipe is blocked?

NBC reports Angel Ginel of New York died in a similar way Monday afternoon: “Police say Ginel was found inside his running, plowed-in car in Brooklyn. His relatives believe he got inside the car to warm up Sunday, and the car got buried.”

A car’s exhaust pipe should always be cleared before starting a vehicle. In addition to not sitting in a car with a blocked exhaust pipe, never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Spread the word: never sit in a car that has an obstructed tailpipe.

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