An 11 year old boy is dead and his mother seriously injured, both the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. Jeffrey Williams and his mother, 49 year old Janine Williams, both from Rock Hill S.C., were staying in the same Best Western Hotel room where a Washington couple was found dead in April.
According to Boone, N.C. police, emergency workers responded to a call from the hotel for Room 225 and found the boy dead and his mother in a deep state of asphyxia. During that response, a presumptive test indicated an elevated level of carbon monoxide in the room. Janine Williams was rushed to the Watauga Medical Center where she is listed in stable condition.
The Watauga County Health Department announced that preliminary indications are that Jeffrey died from asphyxia. Final results are pending for toxicology samples that have been sent to the N.C. Office of Chief Medical Examiner.
On April 16, Daryl Dean Jenkins, 73, and Shirley Mae Jenkins, 72, both of Longview, Washington, who family members describe as being in “good health”, were also found dead in Room 225. Initial autopsy reports were inconclusive as to the cause of death and samples were also sent to the Chief Medical Examiner. Just two days after Jeffrey was found dead, new toxicology tests confirmed the couple also died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The room is situated directly above an equipment room with a natural gas heater for the enclosed indoor pool. On March 6th, a Watauga Health inspector ordered the Best Western to fix ventilation problems immediately, writing in his report, “Chemical/Equipment room is required to have natural cross ventilation or forced air ventilation. This must be corrected ASAP.” There is no record that the hotel ever fixed the problem.
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