A mother and father died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in a vehicle outside of a Kansas Wal-Mart parking lot.
Police say they found Carolyn K. Williams-Cottier, 26, and her friend Trevor B. Roth, 30, dead inside the still-running vehicle on April 23, WDAF reports. It's unclear how long the two had been in the vehicle.
Kansas City Police Chief Terry Zeigler explains the 16-year-old car's exhaust system may have leaked out the colorless and odorless poison while its passengers sat unaware, notes the Daily Mail.
Safety inspections can easily detect such leaks; however, these are not mandatory in Kansas, thereby the two would not have known there was an issue. It is a fact some find upsetting.
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"Maybe this will prompt Kansas to consider requiring smog tests," writes one Daily Mail reader. "It doesn't even have to be every single year. In California, I have to get my car tested every other year."
However, police say they are still investigating the April 23 incident.
Experts are now warning other drivers to avoid sitting still in a running car. If they choose to, then it is advised one rolls at least one window fully down.
"While you're driving it you have all kinds of things, air conditioners, defrosters moving air through the car," Gordon Polen with a Kansas auto shop said. "Sitting still, there's no air flow."
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Yet some on social media aren't buying the explanation.
"There has to be much more to this story!," wrote one person in the Daily Mail's comments section. "If the vehicle had an exhaust problem there is no way you wouldn't have smelled that and know you needed fresh air."
Loved ones were shocked to hear the news.
"It is with a heavy heart I found out yesterday that Carolyn Williams-Cottier passed away," Donna Dungans wrote in an April 25 Facebook post. "I am in total shock and sadness. The mystery behind what happened is also a big part of the shock of it all."
"God Bless and keep you Carolyn," she added. "Until we meet again."
"Rest easy and fly high Trevor," one person commented on KWCH's April 26 Facebook post about the deaths. "You will be missed."
"Today I lost my older me," friend Miranda Crawford wrote on April 23. "We have been though alot and talked a lot we just saw each other on the first. I'm so [devastated] that [you're] gone. Just know you will always be my older me, I'll always be your mini me."
Williams-Cottier was a mother of two children, while Roth was a father of three, according to the Daily Mail.