Preliminary Autopsy Results Point to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

ECTOR COUNTY - Five people who were found unconscious in a pickup Sunday evening likely died from exposure to Carbon Monoxide. That is what preliminary autopsy results say, according to the Ector County Sheriff's Office.

The Ector County Sheriff's Office says the people in the truck were mudding when they got stuck around 9:00 p.m. at the J.C. Playground Racetrack on Highway 385 at FM 1787.

The truck has a dual-exhaust system and the Carbon Monoxide apparently got into the cab after the vehicle became stuck in the mud and standing water.

People on the scene had to bust open the windows to get the truck open. Witnesses report that gas or smoke came out of the cab when the windows were broken.

The five people were unresponsive and slumped over.

They have been identified as:

  • 19-year-old Gladisela Polanco of Kermit.
  • 40-year-old Martha Caballero of Kermit.
  • 42-year-old Lenin Polanco of Kermit.
  • 40-year-old Maurilio Hernandez of Monahans.
  • 32-year-old Adan Saucedo of Monahans.

The Ector County Sheriff's Office says they do not know why the people inside the truck did not get out or open the windows. There were signs of alcohol in the vehicle, but the Sheriff's Office could not say if that played a part in the accident.

The Sheriff's Office is still awaiting full autopsy results.

According to the EPA: Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home.

At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue.

The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.

Stay with NewsWest9 and for the latest on this developing story.