When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Exhaust

Mishap vehicle with a makeshift memorial to the dead, in Passaic, NJ.

Mishap vehicle with a makeshift memorial to the dead, in Passaic, NJ.

If you just assume that nothing ever threatens your life, and all you have to do is take care of whatever discomfort threatens you, Nemesis may have a terrible surprise in store for you.

It only took 20 minutes for Felix Bonilla’s whole family to receive a fatal dose of carbon monoxide, as he worked to shovel the family Mazda out of a snowbank last month.

Inside a snow and iced packed car in Passaic, New Jersey a mother, 23-year-old Sashalynn Rosa, and her one-year-old, Messiah took their last breaths as carbon monoxide filled their vehicle.

“It’s hard to lose them like that,” says boy’s grandfather, Felix Bonilla.

His son, Felix Bonilla, Jr. had been digging out the family’s car Saturday night while his girlfriend and their two children sat inside to stay warm. With the car’s engine on, and its tail pipe clogged by snow, the odorless, invisible gas seeped into the car in minutes, killing the mother and her baby boy. The little girl also unconscious, was kept alive by paramedics and a bystander who was not afraid to get involved.

“I tried to help the girl, and I put my mouth in. Girls and paramedics worked so hard, so hard to save the kid,” said eyewitness Isabel Carmona.

The little girl, Saniyah remained in very critical condition at a hospital in Paterson on Monday.

Her grandfather is hanging on to a thread of hope she may survive.

“The doctors say they don’t think she’s going to make it. Doctor says she has a slight chance to make it,” says Bonilla.

Friends say the father, when not working at his job at a restaurant depot, spent all his time with his children. Eyewitness News told he’s been by his surviving child’s bedside ever since the tragedy. His father says his son is devastated.

via Mother and child die of carbon monoxide poisoning in Passaic, New Jersey after snow blocks car tailpipe | abc7ny.com.

The news got worse for Bonilla. The three-year-old girl who was alive had irreversible brain damage and brain function never returned after several days on mechanical life support. In the end, she, too, was pronounced dead.

Carbon monoxide is an insidious threat. It is colorless and odorless, and for reasons of fundamental chemistry, forms a more attractive bonding partner with red blood cells than elemental oxygen. The result is death by oxygen deprivation; it is not an agonizing or painful death; the victim slips off, first into a sleep from which he or she can recover, and then to that sleep from which there is no return.

There is not much good to be found in this tragedy, but the victims did not suffer; and they can serve as a lesson to the rest of us. Inside the warm car is not the best place to be in heavy snow.

7 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Exhaust

  1. BAP45

    The worst part is the father probably thought he was being thoughtful by having them warm up in the car. Poor guy.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Oh, yeah. He’s as much a victim as they are, and I hope his family, church, whatever, are doing all they can to keep him alive.

      1. Mr. 308

        Terrible story.

        We had a problem with boiler a few years back exhausting gases into house, set off upstairs and downstairs CO detectors – we were sleeping, very likely saved all our lives.

  2. Larry Kaiser

    I was a high school guidance counselor for 24 years and dealt with several tragedies similar to this. One mother wrote a detailed suicide note to her husband, explaining how she wanted their two daughters raised. Then she went downstairs to the garage and started the car and killed herself and them. If she would have had a gun she might have just shot herself and the daughters would have been spared. I cannot figure out how to present this to anyone who is antigun in such a way as to change their mind. You guys will understand.

  3. Docduracoat

    The best way to kill yourself is by starting a motor in the house
    Cars in garage, generators, even lighting the hibachi grill indoors will work.
    Much less messy than the gunshot method.
    Our CEO just shot himself in the chest after open heart surgery.
    At least he did it in the lobby rest room of his expensive condo building.
    Less mess for the maid to clean. This cleaning comes out of the monthly maintenance fee.

Comments are closed.