A 23-year-old New Jersey mother and her 1-year-old son were killed after their car’s tailpipe became clogged with snow and pushed carbon monoxide gas into the vehicle while they were trying to warm up.
According to authorities, after getting trapped in a massive snowstorm, the mother, Sashalynn Rosa, and her two children, ages 1 and 3, huddled inside their vehicle with the engine running to keep warm while the kids’ father tried to clear snow away from the vehicle outside.
Passaic Police said no one realized that the car’s tailpipe was clogged with snow, which caused deadly carbon monoxide gas to seep into the car. When the kids’ father, Felix Bonilla, went to check on them, he could not wake them up, The Washington Post reports.
Bonilla called 911, but when paramedics arrived, they could not find a pulse for the mother nor her son. The 3-year-old girl was rushed to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., where, according to Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco, she was “fighting for her life.”
“The doctors say they don’t think she’s going to make it; doctor says she has a slight chance to make it,” the kids’ grandfather, also named Felix Bonilla, told ABC affiliate WABC. “I can’t even express how I feel right now; I got no words. My son, he can’t even say nothing, he can’t even move, he can’t even talk.”
From the scene of the incident, Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco said, “It’s heartbreaking, it’s something you can’t foresee. It’s something that is not on ‘the list’ of things not to do during a storm. We’ll all have to add that to the list. Something like this, I probably would have made the same mistake.”
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