HENDERSON, La. (KLFY) – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the case of a Henderson police officer passing out because of carbon monoxide poisoning.
On the afternoon of April 26th, the officer was wrapping up her shift and driving back to the police department.
She made it about a mile down the Henderson Highway before losing consciousness.
“According to her recollection, she remembers turning on the highway but that’s about it. Until she found herself almost upside down in a canal along the highway with a sheriff’s deputy trying to pull her up”, Captain James Thibodeaux of the Henderson Police Department said.
The car went end over end, narrowly missing a gas pipeline. Witnesses say the officer wasn’t speeding, and state police report no alcohol was involved.
The cause of the crash was determined to be carbon monoxide poisoning.
Captain Thibodeaux says, “When she was treated at the hospital we requested testing for carbon monoxide which is a special test and her levels came out near lethal.”
This isn’t the first case of people getting sick because of carbon monoxide leaks in the Ford Explorer.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 154 complaints of exhaust odor in Explorers from 2011-2015.
Following the crash, Henderson police have installed carbon monoxide sensors in the remaining fleet of Ford Explorers.
“We’ve purchased carbon monoxide monitors as a preventative measure. They’ll be able to pick it up long before here’s any risk to the officer of the occupants in the vehicle.”
According to Captain Thibodeaux, the United States Department of Transportation says this is the first report of a carbon monoxide leak in the 2016 Ford Explorer. The NHTSA investigation continues nationwide.