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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hunters help save a carbon monoxide striken family

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Authorities released no new information Monday morning about a mother and her five children who were found unresponsive after their sport utility vehicle became stuck in 2 feet of water.

The woman and children, whose names weren't released, were taken to University Hospitals with carbon monoxide poisoning. Hospital officials declined to comment.

Det. Bob Dolezal, of the Johnson County sheriff's office, declined to release the conditions of the victims.

The family's Chevrolet Suburban, driven by the woman's husband, became stuck on a flooded gravel road along the Iowa River, north of Oxford, about 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The road passes through a wildlife refuge, which is part of a flood plain, Dolezal said.

The man left the vehicle to look for help and came across two hunters in the area. The three men returned to the stuck vehicle, which had been left running.

One of the men, Jake Williams, a volunteer with the Fairfax Fire Department, said they hooked the truck up to pull it out.

"He said he had his five kids and his wife with him," Williams said. "We didn't know anything was wrong. We thought he just needed help being pulled."

When the opened the doors to get the family out, there was a strong smell of carbon monoxide, Williams said.

"They were breathing faintly, but they were not responsive," Williams said.

Williams and the husband started performing CPR.

"They weren't really responsive but they were breathing partially and they had a pulse," Williams said.

The men called 911 on a cell phone and the children had to be carried about 200 yards along the flooded road.

Dolezal said it's typical for the area to flood this time of year. "I don't know how familiar the parents were with the area, but if someone was, they would know that it floods," Dolezal said.

He said it's not uncommon for people to get a false sense of security when they drive a four-wheel drive vehicle.

"That's still pretty deep water," he said. "You just don't drive through water."

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