Deaths of 3 US Marines in North Carolina raise questions about outdoor carbon monoxide poisoning outdoors in parked car


1st August 2023 – The deaths of three U.S. Marines in North Carolina, who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning outdoors while parked at a gas station, have raised concerns about how such an incident could occur.

US Marine corps

The seemingly accidental deaths of three U.S. Marines who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in a parked car at a North Carolina gas station have raised questions about how the situation could have occurred outdoors.

Deputies from the Pender County Sheriff’s Office had found the men unresponsive in a privately owned Lexus sedan in the coastal community of Hampstead. Autopsies performed last week by the North Carolina medical examiner’s office determined that all three died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Sgt. Chester Ward from the sheriff’s office said the ongoing investigation indicates it was accidental.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) report that many U.S. carbon monoxide deaths occur inside homes or closed garages, automotive experts say certain vehicle malfunctions can cause casualties outdoors.

Although carbon monoxide has no odor or color, an exhaust leak would also release other chemicals with a noticeable smell, said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. Usually, those malfunctions are loud or smelly. If a car’s exhaust system is broken or is leaking into the cabin, passengers would typically hear the engine making noises, said Fisher. Corrosion on an older car, such as the one involved in the Marines’ deaths, can cause the hood to fill up with exhaust gases, which Fisher said can then get sucked into the cabin through an intake cavity between the hood and the windshield. Read More…