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Five teens found dead in Hialeah motel room; carbon monoxide blamed

December 28, 2010

The Sun-Sentinel reports that 5 teens were found dead, after renting a motel to celebrate the birthday of 19-year-old Juchen Martial. The red Kia Optima they had driven was found running in the single car garage in the bottom of the room. According to reports, the teens aged 16, 18, and 19 decided to leave the car running overnight as the battery charged. The door that led from the garage to the room was cracked open allowing the fumes to seep upstairs.

The teens had borrowed the car from a friend for the birthday getaway, and it had been giving them trouble all night. Around 8pm that night, they had a friend jump the car battery and went to the motel near Miami International Airport for the celebration. Police did not find any drugs or alcohol in the room. The teens were all found in their clothes on or around a bed with bags of McDonald’s food.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “there are approximately 2,100 unintentional deaths from carbon monoxide every year in the U.S. and the use of CO Alarms could potentially prevent many of these fatalities.” In addition, more than 40,000 CO injuries occur annually from this colorless, odorless and tasteless poison.

A 2007 Florida law requires that all hotel rooms be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors integrated with the hotel’s existing fire alarm system. A factor in the bills passage was the 2006 death of a 26-year-old man that was staying in a Key West hotel who was killed by the fumes seeping from the boiler room next door.

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