By Luke Thompson
At least 12 children lost a parent Sunday when five adults died in a recreational vehicle at Clarksville Speedway as a result of what appears to be carbon monoxide poisoning.
A news release Monday morning identified the dead as Timothy Bryan Stone, 39; James Franklin Wall II, 38; Allison Elizabeth Bagwell-Wyatt, 32; and Jonathan Michael Over and his wife, Kathryn Elizabeth Over, both 27. All five were from Clarksville, and the three men were members of Bikers Who Care, a local charity organization that on Saturday hosted the 30th annual Leslie W. Watson Memorial Toy Run.
The group’s primary focus is helping needy kids. That mission will take on new meaning now.
BWC Director Bill Langford and member Steve Eckart said the five people who were killed leave behind 12 or 13 children, for whom a memorial fund has been established at Planters Bank.
“They were all hard-working family men who also spent a lot of time with Bikers Who Care and supported our causes,” said Eckart, who was one of the first to go into the RV on Sunday.
BWC member Ron Keele of Cunningham said many of the trailers for the event are rented from Fort Campbell, and as many as two-thirds of their members are Army veterans.
Rob Aiers, the director of CarbonMonoxideKills.com, said exposure to levels of 40 ppm can be dangerous over a period of several weeks, though the impact varies depending on the person. He called the reading of 438 ppm “very, very high.”
“They won’t have known much about it,” he said. “Those sorts of levels, if they were asleep, you wouldn’t anticipate anybody would wake up.”
Aiers said around 500 carbon monoxide deaths are reported in the United States every year, and the best form of prevention is to have a standard UL2034 detector. He added that generators should be placed as remotely as possible and not near windows.
High levels of carbon monoxide cause a loss of oxygen to the blood. Symptoms of the odorless, invisible poison include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness and confusion, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Original article: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110920/NEWS/309200048/5-Clarksville-residents-die