A married woman had reportedly died from carbon monoxide poisoning while having sex with a car mechanic in a parking garage.
Kahali Johnson of Newark, New Jersey, found his wife, Tameka Hargrave, 39, and the mechanic, still unidentified, dead in a parking garage Monday night.
Illicit sex and carbon monoxide are the two biggest exports of Newark, NJ, so this should come as a surprise to no one.
According to police sources, Hargrave was compensating the mechanic for work done on her vehicle with sexual favors.
The husband, Kahali Johnson, told ABC 7 New York that he arrived home from work on Monday night and smelled a strong odor in his home. Johnson said than an alarm went off in the house, and he went to investigate the smell.
His investigation led him to the garage. where he found his wife, the mechanic, and a running car. Johnson said he found his wife already sprawled out on the ground, and the mechanic appeared to be looking at the car.
“As I tried to step to open the last garage door, I see the mechanic, he’s laid out,” Johnson said. “She’s just a few feet away, she’s laid out. And pretty much I had to call 911, because at this time, with that level of emissions, I knew that they were gone.”
Police arrived at the apartments and pronounced Hargrave and the mechanic dead at the scene. Newark police said the deaths “appeared to be accidental.”
“This incident is under investigation, but appears to be accidental,” a Newark PD spokesperson said.
The apartment building was evacuated afterwards, just to be safe. At least one person was transported to the hospital to be evaluated.
Kahali Johnson blamed the deaths on carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Basically she died because of carbon monoxide,” Johnson said. “They do not have adequate alarm systems, because if there had been an alarm in that garage, people would have been alerted to the fact that it was going on.”
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a real threat. About 20,000-30,000 people are sickened every year due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and on average about 500 people die from it every year. Car exhaust contains carbon monoxide, but usually it dissipates into the atmosphere.
However, running a car in a garage can be very dangerous, especially if the garage has little or no airflow, because carbon monoxide can linger. High concentrations of the gas, such as the amount that might accrue in a sealed garage with a car running inside it, can kill in as little as 5 minutes.
If two people in a garage were to be distracted by something sufficiently, shall we say, interesting, it’s entirely possible they might leave the car running by accident long enough to pump a lethal amount of CO into the air. And carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, and doesn’t really cause major irritation until it’s too late to avoid a serious case of poisoning. And because symptoms include loss of consciousness and dizziness, by the time you realize something is wrong, it may already be too late to crawl back into the car and turn it off.
So a couple in the middle of a tryst atop a running car could certainly have been caught unawares by the gas. Especially if the car was older or had a faulty catalytic converter system.