The Collin County Sheriff's Department said two employees of a lawn-service company are dead and five emergency personnel received medical treatment after they were exposed to carbon monoxide inside a company cargo van.
Authorities said 72-year-old Lyle John Powell and 49-year-old Ross John Powell were inside the van Wednesday. [[453194553,C]]
"It definitely looked like there was a chemical reaction. That was my first thought. Especially it being a lawn vehicle," said Christine Siebert, who called 911 after she tried knocking on the van's window.
A Collin County sheriff's deputy was first to arrive to the vehicle parked at the intersection of Enchanted Way and Sara Cove in Lucas, about 30 miles northeast of Dallas. He was overcome by fumes when he opened a door to the van.
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"He dropped back, realizing he was having a little throat, chest irritation when he opened the door trying to get them out," said EMS officer Aaron Alderdice.
Alderdice, along with the deputy and three firefighters, were transported to the hospital for treatment and later released.
"We didn't know what it was. We don't know possibly what else they were carrying. Other than potentially chemicals and things like that," Alderdice said.
On Thursday, the sheriff's department said it now believes a generator in the back of the van was to blame.
According to Ross Powell's Facebook page, he opened his lawn doctor franchise just a few months ago.
"It was kind of emotional to see something like that, and I really just felt for those poor men. Obviously it was an accident. It seemed like an accident, not intentional. My heart goes out to the families," Siebert said.