CEDAREDGE, Colo (KKCO)
Tyler Cooper, Cedaredge high schooler poisoned by Carbon Monoxide, was released from the hospital Thursday evening.
Aaron Henrie, 17, is still reported to be in critical condition.
A Tragic Accident
Tragedy strikes a small Western Colo. town. Reid Gates, 17, has died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Two other teens remain hospitalized after the weekend incident.
Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee calls the incident, 'a tragic accident.' In a phone interview with KKCO 11 News on Tuesday morning he said there was no reason to suspect any sort of foul play. McKee told KKCO 11 News the boys were watching a movie in a camper in the garage of one of the boys homes. The sheriff's office investigation showed no malfunction in the generator being used to heat the camper, but a lack of ventilation in the garage caused the build up of Carbon Monoxide.
Aaron Henrie, 17. and Tyler Cooper, 15, are still in the hospital. As of Tuesday morning, Henrie was listed in critical condition and Cooper is in good condition. Both boys are still receiving treatments from the hospital's hyperpabaric medicine center.
Through the tragedy, Gates' parents say they're focusing on the positive.
"We're not the parents that lost Reid and lost their son," says Ken Gates. "We're the parents that got to spend 17 years with him, and wow, what a gift."
Timeline of Events
The initial report came in over the weekend, Kurt Clay of the Delta County School District told KKCO 11 News the students were in a camper and were overcome by carbon monoxide on Saturday. All three boys were taken to Delta Memorial Hospital and then airlifted to St. Luke's Hospital. The children's center of that hospital is called the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. All 3 victims were in the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, receiving treatment in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, a machine that increases the oxygen in the tissues of the body.
Monday night, hospital officials confirmed that one of the victims, 17 year old Reid Gates had died. Gates was a superstar in his town. He played football, basketball, and track & field.
Carbon Monoxide is referred to as the 'silent' killer because it's odorless, tasteless and colorless. When breathed in, the gas can cause brain damage or death. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headache, nausea, dizziness, and a feeling of weakness. Symptoms can be similar to that of food poisoning at the onset. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average 170 people die every year from CO produced from consumer products such as furnaces, generators and water heaters.