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Good Samaritan delivers 'Christmas miracle': OPP

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Two teens will be celebrating Christmas with their families thanks to the life-saving efforts of a good Samaritan, says an Ontario Provincial Police spokesperson.

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“I just want to bring you some good news for change instead of bad news,” Acting Sgt. Ed Sanchuk said in a social media post on Friday. “This is absolutely a Christmas miracle.”

The story began Thursday (Dec. 23) at 11:30 p.m. when Norfolk County Paramedics and Norfolk OPP were sent to a Jones Avenue residence in Simcoe to investigate a report of two people in medical distress.

A citizen had spotted two individuals – an 18-year-old male and 16-year-old female – in a vehicle that had its engine running. Both appeared unconscious and emergency services were called, Sanchuk said.

Emergency services pulled the pair out of the vehicle and they were transported to hospital for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

“I have no doubt that the phone call saved their lives,” Sanchuk said. “We couldn’t have asked for a happier ending.

“Both of these young people will be able to spend the holiday season with family members.”

Sanchuk and Insp. Rob Scott Chief of the Norfolk OPP thanked the Good Samaritan for making the call that saved the lives of the two young people.

Sanchuk called the citizen who called 911 for help a “true hero.”

Upon further investigation the OPP learned that the vehicle had a damaged after-market exhaust system.

Back in February 2021, a young Southwestern Ontario woman died from a carbon monoxide leak in her vehicle in Ingersoll. She was found unresponsive in her vehicle and died at the scene.

Police subsequently advised motorists that if they go off the road in a winter storm, periodically check to ensure the vehicle’s tailpipe is free of snow while you await rescue.

On vehicles that are more than five years old, have a mechanic check the exhaust system every year. Never run your vehicle inside a garage that is attached to a house, even with the garage door open.

According to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada, including 11 on average in Ontario.  The Technical Standards Safety Authority says most carbon monoxide poisoning deaths occur in the home.

(With files from the London Free Press).

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