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Carbon Monoxide Fumes From 2013 Lincoln MKS With Keyless Ignition Turn Deadly

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Push-to-start ignition button.

Carbon monoxide fumes from a Lincoln sedan with a keyless ignition took the lives of a Highland Park couple
Photo: Peas

A couple form Highland Park, Illinois passed away on June 17th from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, after leaving their 2013 Lincoln MKS with keyless ignition running in their attached garage.

Pasquale and Rina Fontani were found by their adult son, who had just finished working a long shift at the Highland Park Fire Department. He found his father downstairs and his mother upstairs in the couple’s bedroom. Pasquale was found with a carbon monoxide detector near his body, so it’s suspected he heard the alarm sounding, then went to the garage where he found the car running. He shut the vehicle off, but then collapsed before he could make it back upstairs to his wife.

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There is an investigation to find out if the keyless ignition contributed to the couple’s death. NBC 5 Chicago has previously reported in 2011 of a number of suspected deaths that cops and medical examiners had connected with keyless technology.

“Keyless ignition has upended the relationship between the driver and the car,” said Sean Kane, founder and president of Safety Research & Strategies. “It’s created a scenario where you can easily leave a vehicle running and not know it.”

Carbon monoxide is a gas that is produced whenever any fuel is burned. It is dangerous because it replaces the oxygen in your blood, which then kills your cells and causes organs to stop functioning. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. WebMD lists the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning as: headache, dizziness, and nausea.

Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased at stores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot.

Because carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted, it’s important to have carbon monoxide detectors
Photo: Heather

If you suspect you’re experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, you should leave the area immediately and call either an ambulance or police for help. It is also good to install carbon monoxide detectors in all sleeping areas of a home and read the directions for them thoroughly, so you know what to do in case the alarm does sound. Carbon monoxide detectors can be bought from stores such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot.

Funeral services for Pasquale and Rina Fontanini are scheduled for Saturday, June 20th.

Related: 2013 Lincoln MKS Model Overview

Sources: NBC Chicago and Chicago Tribune

  • The_Masked_Avenger

    Condolences o the family. I was always leery about the keyless system, especially with older people. They are so used to turning off and taking the key, that they could forget to push the button. With new cars running so quietly, those older people who can’t hear quite as good as they used to, wouldn’t know they left it running. I think people over the age of 70 (I’m almost there) should have their hearing and driving skills tested at least once a year to be sure they are still able to drive well. Having checkups also might help the problem of older folks having a medical problem while driving also. Many accidents happen because of that or they just can’t react fast enough in an emergency. Yes, starting next year I will be getting checked periodically and I told my wife to make sure I do.
    Again, condolences to the family & friends.