Weleetka teens die from carbon monoxide poisoning
By Ken Childers
Two teenage boys were found dead inside of a travel trailer in Weleetka Sunday, and the state medical examiner believes they suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation the boys, ages 14 and 15, were using a portable gas generator inside the travel trailer after storms knocked out power to the area. The trailer was parked on a relative’s property in the 500 block of South Creek Avenue.
The boys, who were not related, were discovered dead when the 14-year-old’s father went to check on them. At press time Tuesday, the boys’ full names had not been released, but their first names were reportedly Matt and Anthony.
Weleetka Public School officials on Monday posted the following message to the district’s website:
“It is with great sadness we inform you that two of our students have died in a tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families. The school will have extra counselors available to help students during this difficult time. The Junior High football game at Maud on Tuesday, Oct. 22, has been cancelled. The Homecoming festivities for this week, Oct. 21-25, have been postposed. Information about the funeral services will be made available as soon as we have it. Prayers for the families, our students, and our staff would be appreciated.”
Okemah Public Schools expressed support for the Weleetka community by posting the following message to social media:
“The faculty, staff, and student body of OPS wish to extend our deepest sympathies and most heartfelt condolences to the schools and community of Weleetka and to the friends and family of the two young men who passed away. We offer our prayers and sympathies in this time of unimaginable grief. May God hold you close and love you well.”
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a by-product of combustion. Common household items, such as gas fires, oil-burning furnaces, portable generators, charcoal grills, among others, put people at risk of exposure to this poison gas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 400 Americans die every year from accidental CO poisoning that is not caused by fires. There are more than 20,000 emergency room visits, and over 4,000 hospitalizations.