A deputy with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department in Las Vegas recently survived a crash with non-life-threatening injuries. Now, the department is saying that the crash was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from his Ford Explorer police cruiser. According to a KTVN news report, the agency has pulled 10 Ford Explorer cruisers off the road over concerns about exhaust fumes leaking into the vehicle compartment. The sheriff posted a photo of the crash’s aftermath.
Officials say they have reasonable concerns that carbon monoxide poisoning caused the crash, but said highway patrol officials are investigating. The vehicle involved is one of more than a million Ford Explorers that the automaker has offered to repair for free. However, Ford has yet to issue a recall and is still maintaining that the vehicles are safe. CBS News has reported on the allegations of carbon monoxide (CO) leaks involving these vehicles. So far, 1,300 people have filed complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the exhaust leaking into their vehicles.
The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from the potentially lethal gas. Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Carbon monoxide symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of the gas, it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from carbon monoxide poisoning before they have symptoms.
Need for a Recall
The auto defect lawyers at Bisnar Chase are representing a number of Ford Explorer carbon monoxide victims, and our clients include police officers and civilians. We are representing a Newport Beach police officer who passed out at the wheel of his Ford Explorer and crashed. This resulted in major injuries showing us that this auto defect has the potential for serious injuries or even death. Ford needs to do the right thing and recall these defective vehicles so they can be repaired before more injuries occur.