Juvenal Garcia Mora was trying to warm up the car before dropping the kids off at school and starting the day.

As WLKY News reports, the 39-year-old dad from Louisville, Kentucky, was at home with his two children on Wednesday morning trying to get ready to leave.

The children’s mother had already left for work. So Mora put his 3-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter in the car and started it. However, the garage door was still closed. Louisville police officer Lt. Emily McKinley told WAVE:

“It appeared to be that he had warmed the car up while it was in the garage, and trying to get the kids out the door to school and start the day.”

While the car was running, the garage filled with carbon monoxide. Mora and the two children were exposed to the dangerous gas.

When Mora didn’t show up for work and his daughter was missing from school, concerned family members contacted authorities. Police arrived at the Mora home at 9 a.m., but the level of carbon monoxide was so high that they had to wait before it was safe to enter.

Inside, they found Mora just outside the car and the children in their seats. Father and son had died in the garage. The 7-year-old daughter was rushed to the hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

The tragedy deeply affected the family’s neighbors, who said it was “heartbreaking.” One neighbor told WAVE:

“This is not my neighbor; this is my friend. [The boy] would walk behind his daddy, behind that lawn mower. He was timid but, he wanted to play. Such a precious family. This is awful.”

Authorities are calling it a tragic accident. McKinley told WLKY it’s a reminder that warming your car up in an enclosed space can have deadly consequences:

“I know it’s the winter months and everybody wants a warm car to get into, but be cautious of the areas and make sure it’s a well-ventilated area because horrible accidents happen like this, and they happen very quickly.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is present anytime fuel is burned — such as when you run a car engine, heater, lantern, fireplace, gas range, generator, furnace, etc. Carbon monoxide can fatally poison both people and animals.

More than 400 Americans die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning, and 20,000 visit the emergency room every year for it. Symptoms are often described as “flu-like” and include headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea, weakness, and chest pain. If you are sleeping or intoxicated, it’s possible to die of carbon monoxide poisoning before noticing any symptoms.

To prevent carbon dioxide poisoning in the home, invest in a carbon dioxide detector, be sure gas appliances are in good condition and properly vented, and do not use things like outdoor stoves inside.

While chilly weather may prompt you to warm up your car, the CDC warns that you should never run your car or truck in a garage that is attached to the house — even when the garage door is open. In a detached garage, keep the door open if the car’s engine is running.

In addition, it’s a good idea to have a mechanic check your vehicle for leaks in the exhaust system. Finally, if your car has a tailgate, open the windows and vents when the tailgate is open so that air can move through the car. Otherwise, the exhaust will be pulled into the passenger area by the open tailgate.

It only takes a few minutes for carbon monoxide poisoning to turn deadly. That’s why prevention and awareness are crucial. As McKinley told WLKY:

“This could happen very, very quickly, and it did, in this case.”

Leave a comment

18 Replies to “Dad Makes Tragic Mistake by Warming Up His Car in a Closed Garage Before Taking Kids to School”

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Didn’t he open door u c the smoke fog .

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      Are u illiterate? It says in the article carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas.

      • Anonymous 2 years ago

        anyone in their RIGHT mind knows you don’t start you car in a CLOSED area due to carbon monoxide

      • Anonymous 2 years ago

        Gas is not odorless fool

        • Anonymous 2 years ago

          Hello, Gas is not odorless but we are talking about carbon monoxide here. carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. before you say someone fool just think how you are turning into one!

      • Muhajir 2 years ago

        It’s true carbon monoxide is a colorlessness and odorless gas but thats not the only thing that comes out of the exhaust pipe. Smoke does too. So when he finally got to the garage it was probably too much smoke and carbon monoxide that he actually died outside of the car.

  • Indian 2 years ago

    Enough of fighting.. Its a colourless and odor less gas. Pray for the family and be safe

  • Rk 2 years ago

    After talking about the symptoms, the article says- To prevent carbon ‘dioxide’ poisoning, invest in a carbon ‘dioxide’ detector!
    It has to be carbon ‘monoxide’.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Please do not argue !! CO( carbon Monoxide) which cops are always warning about is a colorless and odorless gas, which is why it is so dangerous. I pray for the family. Very tragic time.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Car companies should be sued for delivering such a horrible feature. It should come with carbon monoxide detectors that should auto shut off cars when the level are fatal…
    Praying that the family can have the strength and be safe.

  • Hazel Trauffer 2 years ago

    It is disheartening to read these comments. Instead of expressing empathy and grieving the loss of this young father and his children, you(pl) are more about yourselves and disclosing your ignorance? Where is your humanity? This is such a tragic accident that was the result of an expression of Love – of a father for his children. Consider how much God loves you that He gave His Life for you.
    Pray for the family; and, while you’re at it, pray that God will replace your callous heart with one softened by His Love. Pax et Bonum.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      Regardless of all that you would see smoke in the garage if you left the car running with the door closed. You won’t see the carbon monoxide obviously but you will see smoke.

      Odds are the levels were so high that seeing the smoke didn’t matter and he passed out trying to get the kids out.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    My heart goes out for this family …. very very sorry!

  • Rachel M 2 years ago

    This website is CDC Recommendations, fact sheet for prevention of CO exposure/ poisoning.
    They recommend installing CO detectors w alarms near every sleep area. It goes for garages as well. “CO can’t be seen, smelled or heard, but it can be stopped. “

  • MJ 2 years ago

    People stop fighting over who is right or wrong! Hope we all can learn something from this horrible tragedy?

  • Anonymous 2 years ago


  • Mr. Krishnan 2 years ago

    Running the car engine or burning anything in a closed setting (which can be a closet, bathroom, bedroom or basement) can cause an incomplete combustion due to the restricted supply of oxygen since burning requires excess amounts of oxygen. When you create an environment/scenario where you only provide a limited supply of oxygen in a closed set-up, that is leading to the formation of the CO gas. This must be informed to kids, young adults as well as every one. Even when you use a gasoline based motor of any kind (like lawn mower, snow blower, hot water heater etc.,) in the above mentioned settings can produce the CO-gas instead of CO2-gas. Both the gases are not the essential for our respiration except pure air. So it is not only our responsibility as well as a right to have cleaner air for the survival…! I hope this helps. So burn less for a better air…

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