BLACK RIVER FALLS — Three young children and two adult women are lucky to be alive after nearly being overcome by carbon monoxide Sunday night after their car went into the ditch on Interstate 94 near Black River Falls.
According to a press release from the State Patrol, the incident occurred about 10:30 p.m. when the car went into the median ditch while on the way from Minnesota to Chicago. When State Trooper Craig Larson responded, all five people in the car appeared to be in good condition.
However, after the tow truck arrived and the operator began to remove the vehicle, the driver became unresponsive. Larson then realized all five people in the car were unresponsive.
Larson and tow truck operator Pat Brauner of Brauner’s Towing in Black River Falls quickly removed the five from the car. At Larson’s request, Brauner began chest compressions on the female driver and Larson performed CPR on the three children, ages 2, 4 and 6, until they became responsive. The female passenger was breathing and was not as seriously overcome as the others.
After removing the vehicle from the median, it was discovered that the exhaust pipe broke off, causing carbon monoxide fumes to enter the car.
The family has asked not to be identified. They were treated at Black River Falls Memorial Hospital and released.