A TERRIBLE TRAGEDY
This story is about a family and a man who never thought a simple trip will end up this way. The decision seemed justifiable at that time, but would end up costing him big time. This incident happened during one of the worst blizzards New York had ever seen back in 2016. And the story is devastating…
THE WORST BLIZZARD EVER
New York is quite used to snow storms as there are a few every year. But, 2016 was a different year. New Jersey witnessed a record 30 inches of snow. Sure, the snow was more than it usually is. But, the city was used to this and they carried on as usual. Felix, together with his girlfriend and two children dug the car out of the snow and were on their way for a ride.
Though they had no idea that this ride would transition into a nightmare.
HUDDLED INSIDE FOR WARMTH
Felix wasn’t going to let his wife or children shovel the snow out of the way. So, he pried the door open and asked his family to jump inside while he stayed out and got rid of the snow. It was a grueling and time consuming process. While Felix was freezing, he thought his family was warm and safe.
Unfortunately, a landmine would have been safer than what was lurking inside their car.
Nobody knew what was happening. No one could have anticipated or expected this. The tailpipe of the car had been blocked off by several inches of snow. The exhaust had nowhere to go and the gas’ carbon monoxide had started leaking inside the car. As we all know, this can be very lethal…
20 MINUTES TOO LONG
As Carbon monoxide is slightly dense than air, any person is at risk of inhaling it. There are a few symptoms like light headedness involved but people often shrug them off. It took 20 minutes for Felix to clear the snow and as he stepped inside, he was shocked.
Felix didn’t understand what was happening. He tried to wake them up but all three were unconscious and unresponsive. He desperately called out to them, but he didn’t realized his family couldn’t be shaken awake anymore.
CALLING FOR HELP
Felix realized that he had to call 911. He begged them to help his family. At this time neither party realized that the family was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and how deadly the scenario actually was. And they had no idea of what was about to happen.
A HELPING NEIGHBOR
Felix kept screaming for help as he had no idea what to do. A neighbor, Isabel Carmona heard his call and went down to check on him. Felix was in shock and it was up to Carmona to try to help the family. She didn’t know much other than CPR, but what she did know was unable to revive the family.
THE HOPELESSNESS SINKS IN
At this point, the folks around the car realized that it was just a waiting game till the paramedics arrived. And, if you’ve ever been in an accident, you’d know the hopelessness someone feels when they have to wait for the ambulance. And if there’s three people from your own family on the floor, the pain is unbearable…
RUSHED TO THE HOSPITAL
The scene when the paramedics arrived was just heartbreaking. To see a woman and two small kids on the ground, unconscious, brought tears to everyone’s eyes, even the police stood there silently weeping. The paramedics rushed the three victims to the hospital but it was too late, the damages are severe, and Felix’ family might have died already.
Sasha (23 years old) and her son (a year old) died before the ambulance reached the hospital. The third victim, Felix’ daughter who is three years old, has also died four days later in the ICU.
SUPPORT POURS IN
Friends and family poured in their support for Felix. While it wouldn’t bring his family back, the condolences definitely saved Felix. Losing one family member is bad, but losing three is something that could drive a man insane. There was even a GoFundMe campaign launched to pay for their burial.
But, regardless, it wasn’t easy for Felix when he found out that this situation could have easily been avoided.
WHAT WENT WRONG
The police investigated the incident and released a statement that it was carbon monoxide poisoning that took the lives of Felix’ family. Battalion Chief Chris DiBella with the local PD sent this announcement.
“Any snow that covers your tailpipe you want to shovel the snow from the back of the car and clear the tailpipe before you even start the car”
THE SILVER LINING
Sure, the loss was terrifying, but this story will serve as a lesson which could save more lives. While people ignore some simple safety precautions, they won’t ignore this one if they know what happened to this poor family. Stay safe, check your tailpipes always. Make sure that what happened to Felix’ family doesn’t happen to the people around you.