Stricken teens 
were in trailer 
watching movie

Reid Gates, center, was a standout athlete for Cedaredge’s track team in the spring. The senior died Monday of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Three Cedaredge High School students who were accidentally poisoned by carbon monoxide had been watching movies aided by an on-board generator inside a fifth-wheel trailer in an enclosed garage, according to the Delta County Sheriff’s Department.

Reid Gates died of exposure from the incident Sunday, while student Aaron Henrie is still in critical condition and student Tyler Cooper is still listed in good condition, both at Denver hospitals, Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee said.

The boys were flown to Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children after first being taken to Delta County Memorial Hospital.

All three students were players on the Cedaredge High School football team and Gates won a state track championship in the high jump earlier this year.

McKee said Tuesday the incident appears to be an accident and no charges will be filed.

He lamented that the accident could have happened to children anywhere, as plenty of kids use campers parked at parents’ homes and in driveways to sleep in.

“It happens every weekend all across this country,” McKee said.

McKee said the Cedaredge community and the school district is coming together in support of the family.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is found in combustion fumes produced by engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, gas ranges and heating units. Carbon monoxide that builds up in an enclosed or semi-enclosed space can poison people and animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion and high concentrations of carbon monoxide can cause the loss of consciousness and death, the CDC reported.

The agency’s website reported that red blood cells pick up carbon monoxide quicker than they pick up oxygen, so the body may replace oxygen in blood with carbon monoxide, thereby blocking the body’s ability to get oxygen.


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