Multiple systems failed Boone hotel victims

Multiple systems failed Boone hotel victims

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by STUART WATSON / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @stuartwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on January 9, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 8:29 PM

BOONE, N.C. -- The Watauga County prosecutor only charged one man for the deaths of three people who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the Boone Best Western last year.

But multiple systems failed leading to the deaths and now changes have been made to prevent it from ever happening again.

When a Washington State couple died last April, many Boone fire department trucks did not have carbon monoxide detectors. And Boone firefighters did not test the air in the room where the couple died.

That's just one of multiple system failures that lead to the death of 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams almost eight weeks later.

The hotel did not have a CO detector, and the medical examiner did not pass along blood test results in time to save the life of Jeffrey Williams. 

Since then, the local medical examiner quit and a new state law requires CO detectors in most hotels. The law only requires monitors near sources of carbon monoxide and not in every guest room. Out of an abundance of caution, the Fairfield in Boone installed battery monitored detectors in the hallway.

Now the Boone Fire Department has installed the CO detectors on most of its trucks.

So now, first responders in every Boone fire station have detectors which pick up the presence of carbon monoxide so that these deaths may never happen again.

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